Aggravated Unlicensed Operation

A motorist is guilty of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle if he or she operates a motor vehicle upon a public highway while knowing or having reason to know that his or her license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked.

The penalties for aggravated unlicensed operation depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The basis for the suspension or revocation
  • The type of vehicle being driven
  • Whether or not the driver is intoxicated or charged with a drug-related offense
  • Whether or not this is the driver's first, second, third or any subsequent offense

In New York, aggravated unlicensed operation can be a violation, a misdemeanor or a felony. The classification of the offense is important, as a felony conviction will carry a jail term of one year or more.

Jurisdictional Issues

There is a big difference between being arrested for aggravated unlicensed driving in New York City and being arrested on the same charge in other jurisdictions. Under a policy that was implemented during Mayor Giuliani's era and persists today, motorists who are caught driving with suspended licenses will be arrested and processed through the system. This includes being put into the general jail population – for up to 48 hours – alongside those who are there on charges of robbery, rape and other serious offenses.

In upstate jurisdictions, motorists who are arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation are generally given a desk appearance ticket and asked to return to court on a specific date. This process may vary based on the grounds for suspension and other contributing factors.

Notify The DMV Of Any Change In Address

It is important to notify the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of any address changes, or you may find yourself unexpectedly subject to charges of aggravated unlicensed operation. If your license is suspended for any reason, the DMV will send a notification to the address it has on file. If it does not have your current address and you do not get the letter notifying you of an impending suspension, your license may ultimately be suspended without your knowledge. In the future, you may be stopped for another violation and end up being arrested because you were operating the vehicle while your license was suspended.

Contact Experienced Traffic Attorney Karen Friedman

If you need representation from a lawyer, contact Karen Friedman at 212-213-2145 and see how her more than 25 years of traffic law experience can benefit you.

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