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AUO in the Third Degree

Criminal Lawyers Representing Drivers Throughout Westchester County

If you are pulled over while driving with a suspended or revoked license in New York, you may face a serious criminal charge. Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) is not a traffic violation but a misdemeanor or felony crime that may result in a fine or jail sentence if a driver is convicted. The Westchester County AUO attorneys at Tilem & Associates understand the stakes involved and approach these cases with skill and thorough preparation. From our White Plains office, we can assist drivers who have been charged with AUO in the third degree (or in the first or second degree) in and around the New York City area.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO) in the Third Degree

Losing the privilege to drive in New York usually occurs through an administrative process by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If a person’s driver license is suspended or revoked, the DMV will mail a notification to the address on file. A definite suspension will last for a specific period with a beginning and end date, while an indefinite suspension requires a specific action to be taken before the suspension can be removed. A revoked license has been canceled. After the revocation period has ended, the driver may need to request approval from the DMV for a new license, retake the test, or pay a penalty to restore his or her driving privilege.

New York criminalizes the act of driving with a suspended or revoked license under the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Accordingly, if you are driving on public roads when you know, or have reason to know, that your license has been suspended or revoked in New York, you could be charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) in the Third Degree. To secure a conviction of AUO in the third degree, the prosecution must prove that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, that the defendant’s license or right to obtain a license was suspended, revoked, or otherwise withdrawn, and that the defendant knew or had reason to know of the suspension. In many cases, the notification sent by the DMV will serve as the defendant’s reason to know of the suspension or revocation of his or her driving privilege.

There are varying degrees of AUO offenses that range from misdemeanor to felony. AUO in the third degree constitutes an element of the more serious offenses of AUO in the second degree and AUO in the first degree, a felony offense. Third-degree AUO is a misdemeanor, with penalties that may include a fine of $200 up to $500, imprisonment for no more than 30 days, or a combination of both a fine and a jail term. An AUO conviction will result in a criminal record, regardless of the reason for the underlying license suspension or revocation. Many people are shocked to learn that they could end up with a criminal record from what started out as unpaid traffic tickets. Enlisting the services of a skilled AUO attorney may be vital in mounting a defense to avoid a conviction.

Defending a charge of AUO in the third degree typically starts with a thorough examination of the facts, including the basis for the underlying license revocation or suspension. Some common reasons for losing driving privileges are lapsed automobile insurance, too many driver violation points, a conviction of DWI, or failing to pay or answer a traffic ticket, child support, or state tax debt, among other grounds. If the underlying suspension can be resolved, the defense may try to negotiate for a favorable outcome. In other cases, the defense may argue procedural grounds or constitutional violations, such as a lack of probable cause for the traffic stop.

Contact Our Westchester County Defense Attorneys for Assistance in Fighting a Traffic Charge

At Tilem & Associates, we are committed to protecting the rights of our clients while carefully navigating them through the judicial proceedings. Our Westchester County lawyers have experience defending AUO cases as well as many other felony and misdemeanor charges for residents of Bronx, Queens, Kings, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Richmond, and Putnam Counties. Schedule your free consultation today by calling our office at 877-377-8666 or completing the contact form on our website.