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AUO in the Second Degree

Westchester County Attorneys Advising Defendants Charged with Driving Offenses

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) is the New York offense for driving with a suspended license. An AUO is a criminal offense and therefore penalized more severely than a routine traffic violation. Avoiding an AUO conviction can not only save you money but also prevent consequences such as jail time and a permanent criminal record. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County AUO defense lawyers are focused on helping you reach a satisfactory resolution after an AUO arrest. We can provide dedicated defense representation throughout the legal proceedings, ranging from negotiating a plea agreement to arguing for a dismissal or acquittal.

Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License in New York

Pursuant to the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law, it is a criminal offense to operate a motor vehicle when you know, or have reason to know, that your driving privileges have been suspended, revoked, or withdrawn. Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) does not apply when you simply have an expired license or have never obtained a driver’s license. This offense requires that your driving privileges have been deliberately taken away in New York. The underlying basis for a suspended or revoked driver’s license can be any of numerous grounds, including an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense, declining a breathalyzer test, driving without car insurance, falling behind on child support payments, or failing to answer a traffic ticket or pay fines.

An AUO can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances and the degree of the offense. All AUO convictions will remain permanently on your criminal history, and they cannot be expunged at a later date. As a result, defending against an AUO charge is important to keep your criminal record clean and free from a conviction.

AUO in the Second Degree

An AUO in the second degree is a misdemeanor offense. This crime is punishable by a minimum fine of $500 or up to $1,000, as well as either imprisonment for seven to 180 days or probation. This means that if you are convicted the judge MUST sentence you to at least 7 days in jail or put you on probation. You may be charged with this offense if you drive on a public road while knowing, or having reason to know, that your driving privileges have been suspended, revoked, or withdrawn, and one of the following circumstances applies:

  • You were convicted of a prior AUO within the last 18 months;
  • Your license was suspended or revoked as a result of an alcohol- or drug-related driving violation;
  • Your license was suspended because of a chemical test refusal;
  • Your license was suspended pending prosecution of an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense;
  • You have three or more license suspensions for failing to answer, appear, or pay a fine for a traffic ticket on three separate occasions.

An experienced AUO defense attorney will understand the need to investigate the facts surrounding your arrest. Gathering evidence to challenge the prosecution’s case can have a positive impact on the outcome of a charge of AUO in the second degree. The underlying reason for your suspended or revoked license can also be an important part of your defense. In some cases, if you have performed the action required to lift the suspension and pay the fee, the prosecution may be willing to lower the charge against you or agree to a favorable plea bargain. Discussing the details of your case with a criminal lawyer can shed more light on your situation.

Hire a Westchester County Lawyer to Contest an AUO Charge

If you have been arrested for driving with a suspended license in Westchester County or elsewhere in New York, the AUO attorneys at Tilem & Associates can help. We offer a personalized approach to each case, analyzing the facts and building a comprehensive defense. From our convenient office location in White Plains, we have advocated for residents of Bronx, Kings, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Richmond, Rockland, and Putnam Counties. Schedule an appointment to discuss an AUO charge in the first or second degree by calling Tilem & Associates at 877-377-8666 or completing our online form.