Although driving feels like a basic necessity for many modern professionals and heads of households, some people are able to live their lives without their own transportation. The government views driving as a privilege, not necessarily a right.
You have to comply with many different laws to drive in New York. One of the most basic is that you obtain a driver’s license. This license is an indicator that you have passed testing and maintained an appropriately safe driving record. The state can also restrict your driving privileges as a form of punishment.
Individuals who get convicted of certain offenses or have multiple tickets on their record may face the suspension or revocation of their driver’s license as a panel. If they drive without a valid driver’s license and get pulled over by the police, they could face criminal charges.
Driving without a license is a crime, not a civil infraction
Although some traffic infractions only cause tickets, driving with a suspended or revoked license will result in a criminal charge. You will face charges of aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO). A first offense will result in third-degree charges, which is a misdemeanor offense. You could end up serving as long as 30 days in prison and paying up to $500 in fines. A second offense within 18 months will increase the possible fine and jail time, with a maximum possible sentence of 180 days in state custody.
Those who repeatedly get caught or whose arrest involves aggravating factors, like impairment while driving without a license, will face first-degree AUO charges, which is a felony offense. They could serve up to four years in prison and lose their vehicle to state forfeiture.
Fighting back can protect your driving privileges and freedom
Given that you can face time in jail and fines that might complicate your current circumstances, defending yourself when facing AUO charges can be a very good decision.
Whether you challenge the traffic stop itself or the secondary issues that aggravate the AUO offense, there may be different ways to reduce the consequences for your recent traffic stop and arrest. Properly responding to New York AUO charges will help you move on with your life and more quickly regain your driving privileges.