Driving Without a License in New York



    What is a Charge for Unlicensed Operations?

    If you are caught driving without a license in New York, the consequences could vary depending on the circumstances.  Some circumstances may carry lesser penalties than others.  Forgetting your license could be easily fixed if you show up in court with your valid license.  However, if you are not a licensed driver and are operating a motor vehicle, the penalty can be harsh.  There are many circumstances in which you can be charged with Unlicensed Operations, and some of them include:

    • I forgot my license in another handbag or wallet.  If you are pulled over and cannot find your license, but you are a licensed driver, you will likely still be charged with Unlicensed Operations and issued a ticket.  You can appear in court with your driver’s license in hand to show the court that you are indeed a licensed driver and your license is valid.  If you fail to go to court, you can be found guilty and fined.  If you fail to answer the charge completely, the penalty may become harsher and you can have your license suspended.
    • I’m not a license driver.  If you are caught driving without a license and you do not hold a valid driver’s license, you can be ticketed for Unlicensed Operation.  While this does not constitute a crime, it is still a violation.  Many people in this category will be found guilty and will likely have to pay a fine for the violation.
    • License is expired.  If you are caught driving with an expired license, the violation can be the same as driving without ever having a license.  While many officers may issue you a ticket for this infraction, some officers may be lenient and simply issue a warning.  This particular violation can remain on your driving record.  However, if you quickly restore your license, you may be able to ask for the charge to be dismissed.  This is entirely discretionary though and no court is obligated to dismiss the charge.
    • License is suspended.  Usually, under this circumstance, you find the harshest of the penalties for an Unlicensed Operations charge.  This is treated as a misdemeanor in New York and is a criminal offense.  If you are caught driving with a suspended license, you may not be permitted to drive away in your car and the officer may even arrest you.  If you are convicted of this charge it will remain on your permanent record.  If you are caught driving with a suspended licensed multiple times, it can even result in jail time.

    If you are caught driving without a license you may require the assistance of an experienced attorney.  An attorney can assess the facts of your case and help you understand your rights.

    If you are in need of experienced legal counsel in New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. and we would be happy to assist you.

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