New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(3): Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree

One of the most common traffic offenses is driving without a license. However, if you drive while your license was suspended or revoked, or if you drive without ever having a driver's license at all, you did not simply commit a simple traffic infraction. You committed a crime. There are several criminal offenses related to driving without a license including aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first, second and third degrees. The most serious offense is aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. Under New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(3) you could be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree if you:

  1. Commit the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree and you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs,

  2. Commit the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree and you operate a motor vehicle while having in effect ten or more license suspensions, imposed on at least ten separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine, or

  3. Commit the crime of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree and you operate a motor vehicle while under permanent license revocation.

Example

A police officer noticed a car moving erratically down a road. He pulled it over. When the driver rolled down her window the officer detected the strong odor of alcohol. He asked the driver for her license. She responded that she did not have one. The driver performed poorly on a field sobriety test. Chemical tests later showed that the driver had a BAC of .19. Upon performing a background check on the driver, the officer discovered that her licensed had been suspended a year ago. This driver could be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree because she was driving while intoxicated and her license was suspended.

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

In order for you to be convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, you must have been traveling on a public highway. If, for example, you were driving in a parking lot when you were stopped by the police office, a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle would not be appropriate.

Sentence

Aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree is a class E Felony.  If you are convicted your sentence may include:

  • A prison sentence of up to 4 years
  • A fine of $500.00 to $5,000.00
  • Probation.
New York Vehicle and Traffic Law § 511(3): Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree
  1. A person is guilty of the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree when such person: (i) commits the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the second degree as provided in subparagraph (ii), (iii) or (iv) of paragraph (a) of subdivision two of this section and is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug in violation of subdivision one, two, two-a, three, four, four-a or five of section eleven hundred ninety-two of this chapter; or (ii) commits the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree as defined in subdivision one of this section; and is operating a motor vehicle while such person has in effect ten or more suspensions, imposed on at least ten separate dates for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine, pursuant to subdivision three of section two hundred twenty-six of this chapter or subdivision four-a of section five hundred ten of this article; or (iii) commits the offense of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the third degree as defined in subdivision one of this section; and is operating a motor vehicle while under permanent revocation as set forth in subparagraph twelve of paragraph (b) of subdivision two of section eleven hundred ninety-three of this chapter.

  2. Aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree is a class E felony. When a person is convicted of this crime, the sentence of the court must be: (i) a fine in an amount not less than five hundred dollars nor more than five thousand dollars; and (ii) a term of imprisonment as provided in the penal law, or (iii) where appropriate and a term of imprisonment is not required by the penal law, a sentence of probation as provided in subdivision six of this section, or (iv) a term of imprisonment as a condition of a sentence of probation as provided in the penal law.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are charged with aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree you could be sent to prison. Do not treat this charge like a minor traffic violation. It is critical that you are represented by someone with experience. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with criminal mischief as well as other felonies and misdemeanors such as grand larceny, burglary, and assault. 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 larceny in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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