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Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in NY.
Driving without a license and driving with a suspended license in New York State, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County and New York City.
You will need legal assistance.


Aggravated unlicensed operation occurs when someone is pulled over for another traffic violation, such as speeding, VTL 1180, and the officer runs your license only to find out that your driving privileges have been suspended or revoked in New York State. The main statute is New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law (“VTL”) 511, or VTL 511. This charge is separate and distinct from driving without a license. Aggravated unlicensed driving is a crime (misdemeanor of felony), whereby driving without a license, VTL 509, is an infraction.

Suspension or revocation – there is a difference

Although the result is the same – you cannot drive - there is a huge difference in New York State between a suspension or revocation. The NYS DMV goes to painstaking detail in explaining the difference:

sus.pen.sion n 1: Your license or privilege to drive is taken away for a period of time before it is returned. You may be required to pay a suspension termination fee. n: Your license or privilege to drive no longer exists. To get a new license or restore your privilege you must re-apply to the (DMV) once the revocation period is over. You may be required to pay a license re-application fee. Your application may be denied. Revocation periods may be longer than the minimum periods.


New York State alcohol related suspensions and revocations

AUO New York attorney

There are numerous alcohol related revocations and suspensions. More common reasons are:

1-year revocation:

Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated.18% Blood Alcohol Concentration (.18 BAC) or higher. (AGG DWI CIV) DWI with a child 15 years old or younger in vehicle.

DWI, .08 BAC or DWAI- Drug committed within 10 years of any previous violation.

First alcohol or drug-related violation by a driver, except Zero Tolerance, under age 21.

Revocation until age 21 or 1-year, whichever is longer:

Second alcohol or drug-related violation by a driver, except Zero Tolerance, under age 21

6-month revocation:

Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or with .08 % Blood Alcohol Concentration (.08 BAC).

DWAI committed within 5 years of any previous alcohol or drug-related violation.

Refusing a DWI chemical test (breathalyzer)

6-month suspension:

Driving While Ability Impaired by a Drug (DWAI-Drug)

90-day suspension:

Driving While Ability Impaired by Alcohol (DWAI).

Often a New York driver’s license is suspended because the operator has outstanding speeding tickets or other traffic tickets that were not answered in a city, town, or village court of the State of New York or New York City. Sometimes, a fine on a case where the driver pleads guilty was not paid, or a driver responsibility assessment remains unpaid. Bouncing a check to the NYS DMV results in an indefinite suspension of driving privileges.

driving with suspended license

A driver’s license can be suspended under VTL 510-c for various reasons. For example, a junior license holder, class DJ, or a junior motorcycle license holder, class MJ, can be suspended for 60 days for a conviction of hit and run, running a red light, running a stop sign, passing a stopped school bus, speeding, reckless driving, following too closely, participating in a speed contest, failure to wear a seatbelt, or any two other violations.

Further, a NYS driver’s license can be suspended for five years after an alcohol related conviction (DWI and DWAI) for any moving point violation, and can be suspended for a drug conviction or failure to pay child support.

failure to carry auto insuranceFor being convicted of failure to carry auto insurance, VTL 319, your New York driving privileges are revoked for a MINIMUM of 1 year.



3 or more speeding ticketsBeing convicted of 3 or more speeding tickets that were all WRITTEN within an 18 month period results in a New York State driver’s license revocation for at least 6 months. Accruing 11 or more points in any given 18 month period results in a license suspension until the points drop to fewer than 11.



Various degrees of AUO
AUO 3rd Degree,  VTL  511(1)(a)

There are varying degrees of aggravated unlicensed operation. AUO 3rd Degree, NY VTL 511(1)(a) is a misdemeanor crime and carries a mandatory fine up to $500.00 plus a surcharge, and the defendant could be sentenced to up to 30 days in prison and probation. The elements of AUO 3rd Degree are that the person drove while their license was suspended for failure to answer a ticket, appear in court to a VTL charge, or pay a fine. Only one active suspension is required.

AUO 2nd Degree, NY VTL 511(2)(a) is a misdemeanor crime as well and carries a fine from  $500.00 - $1,000.00 plus a surcharge. Further, this crime carriers a MINIMUM sentence of 7 days in prison; up to 180 days in prison; OR probation. In other words, when you are convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation in the second degree, you will either go to jail or be sentenced to probation. The elements of AUO 2nd are that the defendant has a minimum of 3 separate active suspensions, or that the person drove while the license was suspended refusing a DWI breathalyzer or under suspension pending prosecution of a DWI case.

AUO 2nd Degree,  VTL  511(2)(a)
AUO 1st Degree,  VTL  5ll(3)(a)

AUO 1st Degree, NY VTL 5ll(3)(a), is a very serious class E felony which carries a mandatory fine of between $500.00 and $5,000.00 dollars, and either a jail sentence of up to 4 years or a sentence of probation. The elements of felony AUO 1st is that the defendant had 10 or more active suspensions imposed on ten different dates; OR they were arrested while impaired or intoxicated when under suspension for a breathalyzer DWI refusal or alcohol related offense (driving while intoxicated or driving while ability impaired).

Often times people charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in New York City have no idea that their license was suspended. People often move and do not update their address with the DMV so warning notices and suspension letters go to the wrong address. While this is not a legal justification defense, it is the pragmatic cause of the underlying suspension.

driving without a license in new york stateWhen you retain a law firm to defend your against AUO charges in NYS, you need a law firm that will provide a comprehensive defense and strategy in not just defending you in the court where you are charged with aggravated unlicensed operation in the 3rd degree, but also has the knowledge to guide you to clearing all of your underlying suspensions from the operation. It is our underlying goal to negotiate a plea bargain so that you (1) get back on the road legally, and (2) negotiate a plea to a non-criminal resolution.


We are one of the few non-government entities that have DIRECT ACCESS to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles computer records – with your driver’s license information we can pull your NYS DMV driver’s history, called an “abstract,” and have at our fingertips the underlying causes of the suspensions and advise you on the course of action to take in order to clear them. Then, we will bring this proof into court and attempt to negotiate a non-criminal disposition showing that you fixed the problem. This way you do not have to take your case to trial and risk a criminal conviction, and your fine will be a lot lower. Often times we can do this without the need for you to appear in court.

See for yourself one what one of our client’s had to say in her own words about our service in fighting a suspension and restoring her driving privileges:


Today is a great day! I received a call from the DMV stating that I have my driving privileges back! THANK YOU for all that you did on my behalf and for dealing with terrible people in court! You helped me out of a tough spot and to get me back on track. I will definitely refer all of my friends to you! :)

Forever grateful,


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Attack That Ticket, NY Speeding Ticket Attorney,  as well as traffic ticket lawyers. As New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer they also handle DUI DWI. How to fight a NYC speeding ticket,  How to defend a DWI in New York State,  DUI defense New York State,  Representing VTL tickets in New York State,  Do you have a suspended license in New York State?  Aggravated Unlicensed Operation. How to defend a drunk driving charge in New York, Traffic Lawyers. Traffic Attorney handling New York City Traffic Tickets.  We are also criminal defense lawyers.


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