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What happens if you drive with a suspended license?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2021 | Traffic Defense

Once you lose your license in New York, you can’t start driving again until you get it reinstated. Otherwise, you might find yourself in even more legal trouble. The punishments vary according to the severity, but you might have to pay massive fines or spend time in prison.

What are the penalties for driving with a suspended license?

If the police stop you when you’re driving with a suspended license, they might accuse you of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). You might need to hire a traffic defense attorney who could help you reduce the charges. Otherwise, you might be facing up to $500 in fines and thirty days in prison for a first offense. The judge might also put you on probation.

A third-degree AUO is a misdemeanor. If you lost your license due to a DUI or have three suspensions on your record, the police might upgrade your charge to a second-degree AUO. This charge comes with fines of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in prison. Third-degree and second-degree AUO charges are both considered misdemeanors.

When you get to a first-degree AUO, the prosecution might charge you with a felony. A first-degree AUO charge might come with a $5,000 fine, four years in prison and seizure of your vehicle. You might get a first-degree AUO if you’re intoxicated when the police pull you over or you have at least ten license suspensions on your record.

If you get caught driving with a suspended license, you might have difficulty reinstating your driving privileges. You may also have to pay a fee before you’re allowed to get your license reinstated. Depending on the situation, you might have to pay an additional civil penalty.

How can you avoid these penalties?

You might want to hire an attorney if you’re dealing with any type of traffic violation. An attorney might be able to keep you from losing your license in the first place. If not, they could assist you if the police pull you over and realize that you’re driving with a suspended license.