AUO in the First Degree
In New York, driving after your license has been taken away is a criminal offense. Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) is treated seriously, and it often results in a formal arrest and a criminal charge. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County AUO lawyers have the knowledge and experience to defend against these charges. We comb through the facts of each case to identify appropriate strategies and pursue a favorable outcome for our clients. From our White Plains office location, we have successfully represented defendants throughout the New York City area and beyond.Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) in New York
Under New York’s Vehicle and Traffic Law, the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle occurs when a person drives a vehicle on a public highway and knows, or has reason to know, that their driver’s license, driving privileges, or right to obtain a driver’s license has been suspended, revoked, or otherwise withdrawn in New York. This offense does not apply when someone simply does not have a license. It only pertains to people who previously have had a driver’s license or could have obtained a license but subsequently lost their privileges.
A suspension means that your driving privileges are merely taken away for a certain period of time, after which you may pay a fee and have your privileges restored. A revoked license eliminates your driving privileges and license, and it requires you to re-apply for a license after the revocation period. A driver’s license can be revoked or suspended for a number of reasons in New York, which may or may not be related to previous driving or misdemeanor traffic offenses. A few of the many reasons for a possible loss of driving privileges include a conviction for driving without insurance, a lapsed motor vehicle insurance policy, refusing a breathalyzer or chemical test, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to pay child support, outstanding fines, and an excessive number of speeding violations in a short period.Defeating a Charge of AUO in the First Degree
The degree of an aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle charge is determined by the attendant circumstances. AUO in the first degree is a class E felony. A conviction of AUO in the first degree will result in a felony record and a penalty of one to four years of imprisonment or probation and a fine between $500 and $5,000. Generally, AUO in the first degree is charged when a person operates a motor vehicle and knows, or has reason to know, that their license was revoked or suspended, and the person:
- Is impaired by alcohol or drugs and has already been convicted of an AUO within the last 18 months.
- Is impaired by alcohol or drugs, and the suspension or revocation is based upon a refusal to submit to a chemical test under suspicion of impaired driving.
- Is impaired by alcohol or drugs and has previously had three or more suspensions for failures to answer, appear, or pay a fine.
- Is impaired by alcohol or drugs and has a mandatory suspension as a result of a pending DWI charge.
- Has had 10 or more previous suspensions for failures to answer, appear, or pay a fine.
- Has had a license permanently revoked for alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses.
In many AUO cases, the defense team begins by analyzing the reason for the original suspension or revocation to determine whether the defendant had reason to know that they lost their driving privileges. To learn more about the defenses that may be available to you, you should discuss the details of your case with an AUO attorney.Find a Westchester County Lawyer to Resolve Your Criminal Charge
An AUO case can be complicated, but a criminal defense lawyer can protect your rights while leading you through the process. The Westchester County attorneys at Tilem & Associates understand that an aggressive and well-prepared defense is important when representing someone accused of a crime. We work tirelessly to defend our clients and can assist people residing in Westchester, Queens, Kings, Bronx, Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. Schedule a free consultation with a dedicated traffic violation attorney by calling 877-377-8666 or submitting our contact form online.