Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in Westchester- What You Need to Know


Have you been arrested or charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation?

The defense attorneys of Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP have been successfully representing people throughout Westchester County charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation, NY VTL § 511 for years. If you have been arrested or charged with the crime of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation you will need legal representation and assistance in order to protect your license and your rights.


Aggravated unlicensed operation occurs when a driver who was issued a New York driver’s license or had privileges to drive in New York State continues to drive even though their license or privilege to drive was suspended or revoked for some reason. Unlike the violation of unlicensed operation under NY Vehicle and Traffic Law § 509, aggravated unlicensed operation is a misdemeanor criminal offense and carries more severe penalties.

Is there a difference between driving with a suspended license vs. a revoked license?

If your driver’s license or privilege to drive have been revoked or suspended, the practical effect is that you may not operate a motor vehicle until the suspension or revocation has been lifted.

The difference between suspension and revocation is the duration and what must be done to restore the license or privilege. With a suspension, the license is taken away for a designated period of time and once the motorist pays the required suspension lift fee to the DMV, the privilege to drive is restored. With a revocation, the license or privilege is essentially terminated and no longer exists. In order to regain the license, the person must wait for the necessary revocation period to pass and then re-apply to the DMV to have a new license issued. The risk with a revocation is that the DMV may deny the application and the license is not issued.

How can a Driver’s License or Privilege be Suspended or Revoked?

There are numerous reasons for a driver’s license or privileges being suspended or revoked. Here are some of the more common reasons:

  • Failing to answer a traffic ticket
  • Failing to pay a fine
  • Failure to pay child support
  • Accruing too many points in an 18 month period
  • Being convicted of driving without insurance, NY VTL § 319
  • Insurance lapse on a vehicle registered to you
  • 3 speeding convictions in an 18 month period
  • Certain violations while holding a probationary or junior license
  • Alcohol related intoxication conviction
  • Refusing a chemical test (breathalyzer)

The Different Degrees of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation

  • AUO 3rd Degree: NY VTL § 511(1)(a): A misdemeanor offense which carries a fine and surcharge of over $500.00, jail of up to 30 days, and probation.
  • AUO 2nd Degree: NY VTL § 511(2)(a): A misdemeanor offense which carries a fine and surcharge of over $1,000.00, a minimum of 7 and up to 180 days in prison, or probation.
  • AUO 1st Degree: NY VTL § 511(3)(a): An “E” felony which carries a fine and surcharge of up to $5,000.00, up to 4 years in prison, or probation.


The first step requires us to determine the reason or cause of your suspension. Many clients do not know why or even realize that they were suspended. Usually this requires us to obtain a copy of the client’s driving record or abstract from the DMV.

The most important key to defending AUO charges is to answer and dispose of the underlying reasons for the suspension. By working with the prosecutor on these points, it is likely that the criminal charges can be reduced or dismissed.

However, there are many instances where a case cannot be negotiated with the prosecution. In those instances, our experienced defense attorneys are fully prepared to defend your rights and privileges at trial.