One of the more serious traffic offenses in New York is driving with a suspended license, or Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). AUO is a criminal charge, and the most extreme version is a felony, so you can’t afford to take it lightly.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR AUO?
AUO comes in three degrees. Third-degree AUO is any time a person knowingly drives with a suspended license. It’s a misdemeanor charge that can result in fines between $200 and $500 and up to 30 days in jail. You can be charged with second-degree AUO if you have a third-degree conviction in the last 18 months, your suspension was based on a chemical test refusal (like a breath test), or having 3 or more suspensions. Second degree is also a misdemeanor, and it can result in fines between $500 and $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail.
First-degree AUO is a felony. It comes up in connection with driving while intoxicated or having 10 or more suspensions. First-degree AUO can result in fines up to $5,000 and 4 years in prison.
Regardless of the degree, being convicted of an AUO will cause your car insurance premiums to increase by up to 40% and will leave you with a criminal record, which will make it harder for you to find a job, housing, or credit. These are severe consequences, so you should make sure you have a lawyer to fight the charge or negotiate it down.
HOW CAN I BEAT AN AUO CHARGE?
The best defense depends on the facts of your case. You can only be convicted of an AUO if the prosecutor can prove that you knew your license was suspended, so the defense we succeed with most is proving that you didn’t know. Your license can be suspended for a lot of reasons, some of which don’t have anything to do with your driving, and if you didn’t receive notice, you can’t be convicted of AUO. Another defense that can work is if the traffic stop that caught you driving while suspended was unconstitutional. If the stop was unconstitutional, we can get any evidence from it thrown out. In some cases, we can also negotiate the charge down to something less serious.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I’M CHARGED WITH AUO?
AUO is a very serious charge, so make sure you hire a lawyer to defend you. At Rosenblum Law, we’re experienced in dealing with all sorts of traffic offenses, and we’ll fight our hardest to get you the best outcome possible. Our contact information is on the screen and at the bottom of the page.