Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO)

Motor Vehicle Violation Lawyer Helping Saratoga County Residents Fight Charges

After the New York legislature allowed county governments to keep the funds that they collect from drunk driving fines, enforcement and prosecution of these offenses has reached a new level. With coordinated, localized efforts, advanced detection equipment, and a greater police presence on the roads, arrests arising out of traffic stops are more common than ever. If you are pulled over with a revoked or suspended driver’s license, you could face a criminal charge for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle (AUO). An AUO offense has serious consequences, especially if you were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you lost your driving privileges for an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense. Saratoga County AUO lawyer Gregory P. Garofalo has the experience and resources necessary to defend complex cases, such as those involving AUO or repeat DWI. After learning the facts of an AUO arrest, Mr. Garofalo can address your concerns and develop an appropriate defense strategy to move forward.

Overview of AUO Offenses in New York State

Operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in New York while knowing, or having reason to know, that your driver’s license has been suspended, revoked, or otherwise withdrawn constitutes aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle (AUO). The New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can take away your driver’s license for many reasons, some of which are unrelated to driving or traffic tickets. The DMV will mail you an order notifying you of a license suspension or revocation and providing more information regarding the circumstances. In many cases, this notice will establish that you had reason to know that your license was invalid when you were driving. However, your defense attorney can review the details meticulously to determine whether there was a justification for the initial suspension and whether you had reason to know of it.

There are varying degrees of AUO offenses. An AUO in the third degree is the lowest offense and is classified as a misdemeanor. The penalties for an AUO in the third degree are up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $500. It is important to understand that a conviction of an AUO in any degree will remain on your criminal record permanently and cannot be expunged. For that reason, a skilled AUO attorney in Saratoga County will work tirelessly to defend your case.

AUO in the second degree can be charged when you drive with a suspended or revoked license in New York State, and:

  • The suspension or revocation is based on a drunk or drugged driving offense,
  • The suspension or revocation is based on a refusal to take a chemical test for suspected drunk or drugged driving,
  • The suspension is due to a pending drunk or drugged driving charge,
  • You have been convicted of an AUO within the last 18 months, or
  • Your license has been suspended or revoked three or more times.

AUO in the second degree is also a misdemeanor offense, but the penalties are much harsher, particularly if the underlying reason for the initial license suspension or revocation was an alcohol- or drug-related driving offense, such as a DWI. In such cases, a conviction means mandatory jail time or probation, drug or alcohol treatment, and a fine.

AUO in the first degree is charged if you drive with a suspended or revoked license while impaired by alcohol or drugs. It is a class E felony, and the penalties imposed include either mandatory incarceration of one to four years or long-term probation, as well as a fine of between $500 and $5,000.

Hire a Saratoga County AUO Attorney to Defend You Against the Prosecution

Gregory P. Garofalo is an accomplished criminal defense attorney with over 25 years of experience in this area of the law. Mr. Garofalo represents people throughout Saratoga, Albany, Schenectady, Warren, and Washington Counties, including in Ballston Lake, Ballston Spa, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, Gansevoort, Waterford, Malta, Rotterdam, Albany, Latham, Schenectady, Glens Falls, and Queensbury, in addition to other locations. Contact the Law Office of Gregory P. Garofalo by phone at (518) 584-1557 or online to schedule a free consultation with an AUO lawyer based in Saratoga County.

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