Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO)

Driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license in New York State is a Misdemeanor. It is a criminal offense that requires an appearance in criminal court. Since this offense is a crime, the penalties can range from jail to probation and/or fines. Also, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is notified of any conviction and the conviction can impact you insurance rates.

The Typical AUO Case

When a motorist is stopped, usually for a traffic ticket, a simple computer check will reveal if the motorist's driver's license is suspended. A suspension includes an out of New York State suspension. If it is determined that the motorists driver's license or privileges are suspended the police are required to arrest or issue a summons for Aggravated Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) and impound the vehicle unless another motorist with a valid license is readily available. The police are not required to wait for another motorist to arrive. The motorist is provided a court date and may or may not be required to post bail.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (VTL 511, AUO):

There are three levels of AUO, the most serious being a felony charge. A conviction can result in fines, probation or even jail time.

The Vehicle and Traffic Law for AUO is a follows:
§ 511. Operation while license or privilege is suspended or revoked; aggravated unlicensed operation. 1. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. (a) A person is guilty of the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree when such person operates a motor vehicle upon a public highway while knowing or having reason to know that such person's license or privilege of operating such motor vehicle in this state or privilege of obtaining a license to operate such motor vehicle issued by the commissioner is suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by the commissioner.

Reasons for Suspensions

The basis for an AUO charge is that the motorist's license is under suspension for a variety of reasons. The suspension can be for a:

  • Failure to answer a summons
  • Failure to pay a fine
  • Out-of-state suspension
  • Failure to pay the Driver's Responsibility Assessment
  • Failure to pay child support

The basic AUO charge above is aggravated when the suspension is based upon multiple suspensions, multiple speeding convictions and/or a suspension based upon alcohol or drug offense.

An AUO charge is a crime and therefore prosecuted by the District Attorney's Office. An appearance is required in criminal court. Representation by an attorney is essential. In almost all cases it is necessary to obtain a driver's abstract from the Department of Motor Vehicle to determine the exact nature of the suspension.

The Lawyers at Riebling, Proto & Sachs have handled countless suspended and/or revocation of a driver's license charges (AUO). It is important to have a lawyer assist you to help you clear your driver's license and protect your rights in criminal court.

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Contact us online or by telephone at (914) 840-5104 to speak with an attorney for a free consultation. We represent clients in Westchester County and all surrounding areas.

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