What Happens If I’m Caught Driving with a Suspended Driver’s License in New York?

Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.


Driving with a suspended license is a crime in the State of New York. Even if you are unaware that your license has been suspended, you will face potentially serious consequences if you are caught operating a vehicle with a suspended license.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation Charges

Drivers who are caught driving with a suspended license in New York face Aggravated Unlicensed Operation charges, typically in the third degree. Also known as an AUO3, this charge is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by:

  • 30 days in jail, and
  • Fines between $200 and $500

Drivers who are charged with an AUO3 are typically not pulled over specifically for driving with a suspended license. Rather, the driver is pulled over for another offence, such as speeding. When the license is ran, the officer finds that the person’s driving privileges have been suspended. What starts as a routine speeding ticket suddenly turns into a trip to the police station for the driver.

The Consequences of Driving with a Suspended License

Aside from fines and potential jail time, there are other consequences that come along with an AUO3 charge.

A criminal record is the most concerning consequence and has the potential to do the most damage. Remember, a criminal record stays with you for the rest of your life, and it may prevent you from getting a job in law enforcement, the medical field or the legal field.

An AUO3 conviction may also impact your insurance premiums. Much like an accident, such a charge may cause you to pay more for your car insurance coverage.

Why Licenses Are Suspended in New York

A license may be suspended in New York for a few different reasons, but the most common reason is failure to answer a traffic ticket. If you fail to go to court or pay a ticket, your license may be suspended.

Tickets may go unanswered because the driver forgot, or for some other reason. However, there are cases where drivers are unaware of the ticket, and as a result, unaware that their license has been suspended. This typically occurs when drivers fail to update their address with the DMV. While this is not an uncommon scenario, it is one that is preventable. It is your responsibility to ensure that your contact information is up to date.

Drivers from out of state may also have their driving privileges suspended in New York and not realize it. An AUO3 charge is typically the result.

No matter the reason for your license being suspended, AUO3 charges can have a permanent effect on your life. For this reason, it is important to hire an experienced suspended license lawyer with a track record for success. The right lawyer may be able to reduce the charges to a non-criminal offense.