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If you’ve had your license suspended or revoked for any reason, and you take it upon yourself to get behind the wheel of a car and go for a drive, you’re committing a crime. Even if it’s an emergency, if you’re caught, you’ll be charged with AUO 3rd.
Now, let’s say you’ve done this before, got caught, and then decided to do it again. The more times you’re caught and charged with driving without a license, the harsher the charges become, and as such the harsher the penalties. This is where aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle comes into play. Or, AUO 2nd. Keep doing this and you’ll find yourself charged with AUO in the 1st degree, which is a felony.
Misdemeanor Crime – Not a Traffic Infraction
You’ve really got no excuse when it comes to driving without a license. The Department of Motor Vehicles is going to send you a few notices to let you know that you’re license has been suspended. And, if you’ve been convicted of AUO in the 3rd degree within the previous 18 months, you’re going to be charged with AUO in the 2nd degree.
Now, there are a number of reasons why you’ve had your license suspended. Perhaps you forgot to pay your car insurance. This is a crime and if your insurance is suspended, eventually your license will be suspended. Or, you may have been charged with DWI at one time or another, and your license is suspended as part of your sentencing. You may also find your license suspended if you forgot to pay a fine for a speeding ticket you plead guilty to.
How an AUO 3rd is Defended
If you’re charged with AUO in the third degree, there are a number of different defenses your attorney can use, including a somewhat believable defense that you did not know your license was suspended. Once you’ve had an AUO 3rd and you are charged again with an AUO 2nd, you’ll find it a harder charge to defend.
Generally, good defense attorneys will try to get the charges reduced to one that is not a criminal charge and therefore you won’t find yourself with a criminal record. Attorneys can use the lack of knowledge of the underlying license revocation as a way to try and defend the charge, but generally, prosecutors and judges alike don’t care to hear that someone did not know about the suspension.
The best thing you can do for yourself when charged with an AUO in the 3rd degree is to seek out a very experienced criminal lawyer and one that has handled many AUO charges. While you may not be able to convince a judge that you did not know about the suspension, there are a few things you can do in order to help convince the judge that you’re taking responsibility for your actions.
For example, if the underlying charge was a DWI, perhaps now is the time to seek treatment in an alcohol treatment facility. Showing the judge that you are ready to take responsibility for your actions is not going to erase the fact that you’ve ignored your responsibilities to date, but that at least now is the time when you are willing to pay your dues and work towards being a more productive member of society. Reach out to an experienced criminal lawyer for more information on defending AUO 3rd charges.
Traffic offenses are highly common in the state of New York. One of the most common is driving without a license. However, if you drive when your license has been suspended or revoked, you have not committed a simple traffic violation as it is considered a crime. There are three different criminal offenses with which a person can be charged when driving without a license. This includes aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree, second degree or third.
Circumstances That Can Lead to a Charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree
As per the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 511(2), you can be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree if certain criteria are involved. These include the following:
• You have committed aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree and were convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree in the last 18 months
• You refused to take a chemical test and your license was suspended or revoked as a result
• Your license was suspended due to a mandatory suspension pending your prosecution for driving while intoxicated and in violation of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 1192(2)
• You have three or more suspensions to your license for three separate dates due to failure to answer, pay a fine or appear
Example of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree Per New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 511(2)
An example of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree is that a young woman had her
license suspended six months earlier because she refused to take a chemical test after a police officer pulled her over under suspicion that she was driving while intoxicated. In spite of this, the young woman still drives her car regularly. One day, she is spending some time with friends while drinking and playing games when the group decides they want to get some food and bring it back to the home. The young woman volunteers to be the one to pick up the takeout in spite of feeling a bit buzzed after consuming some beers and the fact that her license is suspended. On her way to the restaurant, she runs a red light, which results in a police officer making her pull over. When the officer discovered that the young woman’s license was suspended, he arrests her. She can then face a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree due to driving while her license was suspended due to refusing to take a chemical test.
Possible Defenses for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree
To be charged with and convicted of the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree, you have to be traveling on a public highway. If the area on which you were traveling was private property, a parking lot or any other area that is not a public highway, your NYC criminal lawyer can debate the charges against you. This is because a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree would not be the situation in that case.
Penalties and Sentences for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Second Degree
This crime is charged as a misdemeanor. The penalties for an aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree include 180 days in jail, probation, a fine of as much as $1,000 and taking part in a drug or alcohol program.
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.
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"Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them..."David Bruce
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