In New York, it is illegal to drive without a license, but the circumstances differ vastly. For example, did you simply forget your license at home? Or are you driving with a suspended license? Depending on the situation, the penalties will differ greatly. Read on for more information regarding driving without a license in Long Island.
Driving Without a License vs Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Driving without a license is a small traffic infraction. It occurs when you have a valid driver’s license, but you do not have it on your person. For example, you forgot your wallet at home, so your license is not with you at the time that you are pulled over. For this violation, you may face a fine of $75- $300. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (AUO), on the other hand, is a different story. AUO occurs when you drive with a suspended or revoked license. There are various degrees of AUO, each carrying different penalties.
AUO in the Third Degree
This occurs when you either knew, or reasonably should have known, about the state of your license and chose to drive anyway. This is a misdemeanor and it comes with potential fines between $200 and $500 and potential imprisonment up to 30 days.
AUO in the Second Degree
This occurs if you were caught driving while already guilty of a first AUO within the last 18 months, your license suspension was because of a chemical test refusal, a DWI, or 3 or more unanswered suspensions for failure to appear or pay a fine. This is also considered to be a misdemeanor. Depending on the circumstances that upgraded the offense to a second-degree charge, it comes with varying fines and terms of imprisonment.
AUO in the Third Degree
A conviction of an AUO in the first degree is a felony. This occurs if you were caught committing an AUO in the second degree while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, committing an AUO in the third degree with at least 10 suspensions for failure to appear or pay a fine, or committed an AUO in the third degree with a permanent revocation of your license. You could face fines ranging from $500 to $5,000, and a term of incarceration of no more than 4 years.
If you are charged with any of the above, it is important to reach out to a skilled traffic attorney. A New York traffic attorney may be able to reduce your fines and possible jail time.
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Criminal matters can change the course of your life forever. This is why you need an experienced attorney who will aggressively combat your charges to help mitigate their long-term effects. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for a criminal defense matter on Long Island or throughout New York State, please contact Grunwald & Seman, P.C. to schedule a consultation. We would be happy to assist you.