In New York, it is a crime for anyone to operate a motor vehicle without a proper driver’s license. If someone is found driving without a license, they can then be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle. This can happen if someone has never obtained a legal driver’s license, or someone who was once licensed to drive has had their licenses suspended or revoked for whatever reason. Most people who are charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle have had their license revoked because they committed another infraction that required the removal of their driving privileges.
There are three different degrees to the charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle. When you’re charged with AUO in the 3rd degree, it’s your first time being charged with such a crime. However, if you’re charged with AUO in the 1st degree, it’s the most serious of the charges because this certainly is not your first time operating a motor vehicle without a license. As such, the penalties for this charge are much more serious. The circumstances to which led to your original revocation of your driver’s license could come into play with this, as well as the circumstances that surrounded the discovery of you driving without a driver’s license.
Examples of AUO in the First Degree
Perhaps at one time, you were charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). A DWI is a serious offense and one that generally carries harsh penalties, including the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges. But the inconvenience of not being able to just get in the car and go somewhere can be detrimental to some, so they continue to drive even though they are legally not supposed to. Being pulled over for speeding or running a red light, or even being involved in a minor accident can lead to the discovery that you’re not supposed to be driving, and in fact, you’ve been caught doing this numerous times before, can lead to a charge of AUO in the first degree. It is very important to note that AUO in the 1st degree is a felony.
Sentencing of AUO in the First Degree
When you’re convicted of AUO in the 1st degree, the court may consider the following:
– A fine of not less than $500, but no more than $5,000. The court may also sentence the defendant to jail time or require a sentence of probation.
– The court may also consider that the defendant be mandated to attend some type of alcohol or drug counseling when the charge of AUO is due to the fact the defendant was driving while intoxicated. Many, but not all defendants, have some type of history with driving while intoxicated or otherwise impaired.
Hiring a Defense Attorney
If you are charged with any type of AUO, it makes sense that you retain a law firm who is experienced in defending clients with these types of charges. A criminal defense attorney can never guarantee that he will be successful in his quest to get your charges reduced because circumstances surrounding the original charge can sometimes complicate the matter further, but he certainly can work to ensure that your fines are reduced or that the court does not impose the maximum sentence.
If you’ve been charged with AUO in the First Degree, reach out to our experienced team of criminal defense attorneys today.