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What is Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in New York?

by Seth Azria on 11/07/2019

It is Driving with a Suspended Licence 

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation or “AUO” is based on driving with a suspended license. It a misdemeanor, and therefore a crime under New York law. 

A person is guilty of aggravated unlicensed operation in the 3rd degree when a person operates a motor vehicle upon a public highway while knowing or having reason to know that their license or privilege of driving has been suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by the DMV.

AUO Charges May Come as a Surprise 

AUO charges sometimes come as a surprise to you. An unresolved ticket from years ago may have caused a suspension without you knowing about it. Sometimes people move, forget to update their address with the  DMV or otherwise do not receive a mailed suspension notice. Unfortunately not receiving the notice is not a defense. The law requires only that the DMV mail a notice to your address on file. This deemed to have given reason to know that they have suspended. 

Whether you were actually aware of the suspension or not, being charged with AUO means that you will personally have to appear in court for an arraignment before a judge. And because the charge is a misdemeanor crime, you will need a lawyer to represent you. Judges will often advise defendants attending that initial court appearance without a lawyer to find a lawyer or will assign a lawyer if the defendant cannot afford a lawyer.

Penalties for AUO in New York

AUO in the 3rd Degree conviction: 

  • a fine of $200-$500, 
  • imprisonment for up to 30 days, or both.  

Multiple AUO offenses or numerous suspensions pending can result in a:

AUO Second Degree, which is punishable by:

  •  a fine of not less than $500,
  • prison of up to 180 days, or probation. 

An AUO related to alcohol can be elevated to the first degree, which is a class-E felony.

For more on the degrees of AUO.

Defense Lawyers: Experienced, Efficient, and Knowledgable 

An A&B lawyer will appear with you in court, help you identify and resolve the suspensions on your license, and negotiate a resolution with the prosecutor. Our goals in AUO cases is to first to eliminate a criminal conviction and ensure that the client's license is clear to drive. 

If you have been charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation please call us at (315) 364-1155 for a free evaluation of your charges and driving record. 





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Azria & Bruffett Law Firm has handled thousands of cases all over New York State. We have extensive experience to help us inform, predict, and handle your case smoothly. Our traffic defense lawyers handle nearly all tickets pending in most of the courts and counties below:

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