New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(1): Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree

If you drive after your driver's license has been suspended or revoked you have committed a crime. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is much more serious then minor traffic infractions such as exceeding the speed limit by a few miles per hour, or rolling through a stop sign. If you drive with a suspended license you could end up in jail and be required to pay significant fines and fees. There are three criminal offenses related to driving without a license including aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first, second and third degrees. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second third degree is the least serious of the three crimes. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(1) you could be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree if you drive even though you know or should have known that your license was suspended or revoked.

Example

John was pulled over for suspicion of driving while intoxicated. He refused to take a chemical test. As a result his license was suspended. Sara received multiple speeding tickets in the last 12 months. Because of this her licenses was suspended. Felix was cited for failing to pay child support. His license was suspended. If John, Sara or Felix drive they each could be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree. Each of them has a suspended license, and based on the circumstances of their license suspensions, they should be aware of the suspensions.

Related Offenses
  1. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(2)
  2. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree: New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(3)
Defenses

In order to be convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree, the prosecutor must show that you knew or should have known that your license was suspended. If you can show that the circumstances were such that you did not know that your license was suspended and that it was reasonable that you did not know, then you may have a valid defense against the charge. In addition, in order for you to be convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle you must have been driving on a public highway with a suspended or revoked license. If you were driving on private property, a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree would not be appropriate.

Sentence

Aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree is a misdemeanor. Your sentence may include a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail. If you were driving a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 18,000 pounds, the fine you are ordered to pay would be up to $1500.

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(1): Aggravated unlicensed operation in the third degree

Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree.

  1. A person is guilty of the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree when such person operates a motor vehicle upon a public highway while knowing or having reason to know that such person's license or privilege of operating such motor vehicle in this state or privilege of obtaining a license to operate such motor vehicle issued by the commissioner is suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by the commissioner.
  2. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree is a misdemeanor. When a person is convicted of this offense, the sentence of the court must be: (i) a fine of not less than two hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars; or (ii) a term of imprisonment of not more than thirty days; or (iii) both such fine and imprisonment. (c) When a person is convicted of this offense with respect to the operation of a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than eighteen thousand pounds, the sentence of the court must be: (i) a fine of not less than five hundred dollars nor more than fifteen hundred dollars; or (ii) a term of imprisonment of not more than thirty days; or (iii) both such fine and imprisonment.
New York Operation while License or Privilege is Suspended or Revoked Lawyer

Even though aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree is a misdemeanor, it is still a crime. The result of a conviction is that you could end up in jail and be ordered to pay a substantial fine. Furthermore, you will end up with a criminal record. The staff at Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with crimes such as reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, vehicular assault, and vehicular manslaughter. Contact us at 1.800.NY.NY.LAW (1.800.696.9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of traffic offenses in the following locations:

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