In New York, drivers who are caught driving with a revoked or suspended license are charged with an AUO3 (Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree) under §511 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL). It’s a fairly common offense in the state of New York, and is considered a misdemeanor. The consequences of this crime can be costly, so drivers should understand what penalties they face and why they are being charged.
Why Would a Driver Be Charged with an AUO3?
In many cases, a driver is charged with an AUO 3rd after being stopped by the police for a separate traffic violation, typically speeding. The officer runs the driver’s license and finds that his or her driving privileges have either been suspended or revoked in New York.
It should be noted that AUO is distinctly different from unlicensed operation, the offense of driving without a license. Unlicensed operation is a non-criminal violation.
Drivers are often charged with this offense because they failed to:
- Appear in court for a VTL charge
- Answer a ticket
- Pay a fine
Unfortunately, many drivers who are charged with this offense are completely unaware that their license had been suspended. The most common scenario is a driver moves away and fails to notify the DMV of his or her new address. Any suspensions letters or warning notices from unresolved tickets then wind up at the wrong address. The end result? The driver, unbeknownst to him, is caught driving with a suspended or revoked license.
Fines and Penalties Associated with an AUO 3rd
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree is a misdemeanor crime in the state of New York and carries the following penalties:
- Up to 30 days in jail, or probation
- A maximum fine of $500, plus surcharges
There are varying degrees of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, but the Third Degree is the least serious. In many cases, a lawyer can reduce the charges to a non-criminal violation. Taking care of unresolved tickets may also be a viable solution, and one that a lawyer can help you with.