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Driving with a suspended license in NY

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  • Driving with a suspended license in NY

    I was recently pulled over for speeding in NY, and while being stopped the officer told me that my license was suspended. This was a huge shock to me. I have always paid every ticket I received on time. I was handcuffed and taken to the precinct and everything. It turns out that the last ticket I got for running a red light put me at 6 points on my license, and that triggered the Driver's Assessment Fee that I had to pay. The address on my license was never updated, so I never got the notice that I had to pay this fee, or that my license was suspended. I have a court date coming up and am a little scared. What should I expect there? I read online that Aggravated Unlicensed Operation is a misdemeanor and can be punishable with up to 30 days in jail. Is this something I need to worry about? I have never been arrested for anything and have a relatively clean driving record. Thanks for any advice you can give!

  • #2
    Forgot to mention that I paid the Driver's Assessment Fee the next day and my license is no longer suspended.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by NewYorker7380 View Post
      …….The address on my license was never updated, so I never got the notice that I had to pay this fee, or that my license was suspended.…….
      I’m guessing that you have the same responsibility over there to notify the appropriate authority of any changes of address that we do. Your licensing authorities are unable to read tea leaves or use crystal balls to determine your change of address. They rely upon the information you provide in order to send those pesky notices.

      Originally posted by NewYorker7380 View Post
      Forgot to mention that I paid the Driver's Assessment Fee the next day and my license is no longer suspended.
      Not relevant to the original post as your license was suspended when you were arrested.

      Being concerned/ scared about your upcoming court appearance is normal. The penalties listed for various offences are usually the maximum that can be applied. I’m sure that your Judges/ Magistrates will take into consideration whether or not you’re a Clean skin, if you have similar prior history, early plea, etc and apply the appropriate penalty.
      If at first you don't succeed, remove all evidence of your attempt.

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      • #4
        Yes it is something you should worry about, it is a misdemeanor as opposed to a simple traffic violation. The address change is an issue also, it's your responsibility to see that DMV has your current info., you could have been cited for that also.

        Bushranger is right, that is the max. penalty for an AUO and quite frankly I've yet to see anyone jailed on an AUO 3rd charge. You have made the right first step in taking care of the suspension however your "relatively clean driving record" is going to make it a little difficult to walk in and get an immediate reduction or leniency from the court. I would seek some legal advice before your court date if you want to try and avoid some potentially hefty fines.

        DAN

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        • #5
          Get yourself a criminal defense attorney to handle this for you.....the prosecutor will not care that you have a clean driving record or that you're a good guy........conviction for this charge will leave you with a criminal record. Don't try to handle this on your own.

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          • #6
            If this is your very first time... its an unclassified misdemeanor.

            You will more than likely recieve a fine, which in turn will be a guilty conviction on your record. Petty but it will still be there.

            A good defense attorney wont be able to do much unless you go to trial. The drawback to a trial is you probably just ****ed away the small fine deal in exchange to a higher fine or maybe a few days behind the slammer. Ask DINOSAUR, he was with the courts, he seen it all probably.
            Last edited by NYCTNT; 08-05-2008, 12:57 AM.
            Captain Square Badge, reporting for duty!.

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            • #7
              just bring your checkbook, you are NOT going to do any jail time. you should get a break if its a town court. here you would get a reduction for sure. If im not mistaken the law states knowingly operates and you did not do so knowingly. I rarly ever arrest for AUO, I usually just write for unlicensed operation.

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              • #8
                New York State law requires that you change your address within 10 Days of moving, you can get a ticket if stopped for this in NY State. As far as your AUO 3rd. There is a stipulation as an affirmative defense that you "MUST" know that your license is suspended or it is possible that it is suspended. If you truly didn't know that your license was suspended then you can get the ticket dismissed altogether. I have worked in many courts with a lot of judges and attornies while I was a police officer and that is a good solid defense. See if it still holds true today though. Get an attorney and ask him/her about it, they will be more versed in the law and if there were any changes to that.

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                • #9
                  In NYC if you go before the TVP or PVB, there is no plea bargaining. But since you are charged with the misdemeanor you'll be in Criminal Court. Remember this......nobody in the system cares about you, because it is a system. The ADA in the court part isn't going to give you a break because you are a nice guy, the ADA just wants a conviction so he/she can move from misdemeanors to felonies. The Judge is only interested in dispositions. The court will not allow you to represent yourself, unless you pointedly request to do so. And remember 'he who represents himself has a fool for a client". Get yourself an attorney, good chance he could plea bargain this down to a non-criminal disposition. i speak from a great deal of personal knowledge.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for their advice. I had my day in court earlier this week and everything went as well as I could have hoped for. I'm glad I didn't waste my money on an attorney. They were asking for $900 to defend me. What a rip off!

                    In the end, the AUO 3rd degree was dropped to unlicensed operation and the speeding ticket was dropped to a broken speedometer. No tickets and no points on my license. All i had to pay was a $180 fine.

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                    • #11
                      You got lucky.
                      What would have happened if it went the other way?

                      Personally, I would have had a lawyer by my side for piece of mind and to make sure I understood everything.

                      Now if this was a parking ticket or littering or something like a summary offense with no points possible on a dl or no possibility of jail time, I would go in myself.
                      A lawyer would want $200 and upward to defend me. The fine would be $150.00. Maybe a bit more it would be a wash

                      Now with the POSSIBILITY of increased insurance premiums, or a hefty fine or even jail time, then yes a lawyer can be a wise investment. Just my opinion.

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                      • #12
                        Was this in Nassau County? These convictions will show up on yor DMV driver's abstract. If you go back to court for another driving related misdemeanor, the prosecutor will know about this.

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