NY Criminal Defense Lawyer

Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle


Having your driving privileges suspended or revoked is more than an inconvenience—it truly has the potential to send your life into a tailspin. Regardless of why it was suspended, not having your license can make it difficult to get to work, to the doctor, and even to future court dates. But driving on a suspended license is NOT the answer. If you’ve been caught driving without a license in New York, you will only face greater hardship.

There are many potential reasons why your drivers license may have been suspended in the first place. Driver’s license suspensions are fairly common and can come as a result of a DWI, drug charge, hit & run, and other traffic offenses. Having your driving priveleges suspended is meant to be a punishment and for some, it’s a punishment even worse than jail time.

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Unless you live in the city, you depend on your vehicle to get you to work, to appointments, and everywhere else you may need to go. Without it you have to depend on others to provide or public transportation. This can be a hassle in itself as you put stress on your personal relationships in order to get where you need to go.

You might have had an important engagement or simply no ride to work. Regardless, you likely didn’t think you would get caught when you decided to drive on a suspended license. Whether this was your first time or if you’ve done it repeatedly, you will be facing criminal charges.

Under New York law, driving on a suspended license is known as: Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

New York Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle Laws (Suspended License)

3rd Degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle

This is the charge that applies to most cases of driving on a suspended license. It is considered a misdemeanor to drive without a license and this particular charge carries up to 30 days in jail and fines reaching up to $500. You will also likely have your suspension period increased.

2nd Degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle

Driving on a suspended license in the second degree is applicable if you have a similar previous conviction in the last 18 months, your license is suspended for a breath test refusal or part of a DWI, or if you have three or more prior suspensions for unpaid.

This offense is also considered a misdemeanor. However, your potential sentence for this misdemeanor charge is up to 6 months in jail and fines reaching $1,000. If the original suspension was for a DWI charge, you will spend a minimum of 7 days in jail.

1st Degree Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle

This is the most serious of suspended license charges and applies if you are charged for driving on a suspended license and DWI in the same case. This results in a E Felony charge which carries certain jail time and fines reaching $5,000.

Driving without a license is a more serious charge than many people know. It’s especially troubling because your suspension period will likely be extended with this latest charge, giving you even more hardship than before.

If you are accused of driving while on suspension or while your license is revoked, we may be able to help. Contact me today to discuss the details of your case.