YOUR BEST DEFENSE
Traffic Crimes Other than DWI
Reckless driving is a traffic misdemeanor and would establish a criminal conviction if found guilty.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operator 3rd Degree – 511-1A (AUO 3rd) misdemeanor
- Operating a motor vehicle while license suspended:
- Operating a motor vehicle while knowing, or should have known that their license is suspended or revoked. Unclassified Misdemeanor – Fine of $200 to $500 (plus surcharge) and/or not more than 30 days in jail
Aggravated Unlicensed Operator 2nd Degree – 511-2A (AUO 2nd ) misdemeanor
- Commits the crime of AUO 3rd AND
- Has a previous AUO 3rd conviction within the past 18 months
- Suspension/revocation based on refusal to take a chemical test or conviction of any provision of section 1192 (DWI/DWAI) or mandatory suspension pending prosecution for DWI
- Three or more suspensions for failure to answer a traffic ticket to pay fine on at least 3 different dates – Fine not less than $500 and imprisonment for not more than 180 days or probation; or under some circumstances a fine of $500 to $1000 and 7 days in county jail or probation
Aggravated Unlicensed Operator 1st Degree – 511-3A (AUO 1st ) class E felony
- Commits AUO 3rd with 10 or more suspensions on at least 10 different dates for failure to appear for a traffic ticket or pay fines
- Commits AUO 2nd (Alcohol related) and is under the influence of alcohol at the time
AUO 1st is a felony and must be prosecuted through a superior court unless it is reduced to a lesser AUO offense. There is a right to a jury trial and services of a court appointed attorney. The penalty imposed is a fine with a minimum of $500 and a Maximum of $5,000, and imprisonment as provided by the Penal Law for a Class E Felony.
Limitations on plea bargain: Charges of any degree of AUO may not be reduced outside of the AUO category (511 Chapter) unless the prosecutor is willing to place on the record that the charge of AUO is unwarranted. It is possible to have the traffic infraction of lesser degrees of AUO to be plea bargained to the traffic infraction of facilitated aggravated unlicensed operator, 511a of the V&T law which is a traffic infraction. The assistance of an experienced attorney would be critical in avoiding the criminal conviction of, and degree of, AUO.
Jury trial: All vehicle and traffic misdemeanors are entitled to a jury trial, however most prosecutors do not recognize this fact and will frequently avail themselves of any means to avoid a jury trial.
Right to confrontation: The accused is absolutely entitled to be confronted by their accuser, in this case the DMV employee who sent the notice of suspension to the accused.
These rights and options absolutely need the assistance of a competent and experienced attorney.
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