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Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) in Nassau County, NY

New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 511 prohibits a person from driving while his or her license is suspended or revoked. When the driver knew or should have known of the revocation or suspension and continued to drive, the crime is charged as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). Depending on the circumstances, the offense can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor.

Many of these cases involve an unlawful stop by a law enforcement officer. Other important defenses exist. Even if no defenses are present in the case, your attorney may still be able to negotiate a resolution that helps you avoid a criminal record or conviction. Avoiding a conviction also may save you money, another license suspension, and help you avoid increased insurance premiums.

New York law provides for an escalating schedule of punishments for each subsequent offense. An experienced criminal defense attorney in Nassau County, NY, can help you resolve the case for a less serious type of violation that can save you money on fines, surcharges, probation fees and increased insurance premiums.

Never go to court alone to resolve a suspended license charge. For a felony version of the offense, law enforcement officers in Nassau County will initiate a forfeiture of the vehicle. Attorney Stephanie Selloni can also help you contest the forfeiture.

If you would like to discuss your case, obtain a copy of your driving record and call Law Office of Stephanie Selloni at 516-972-1212 for any AUO charge in Nassau County, including Garden City, Mineola, or Hempstead. Stepanie Selloni also represents clients in AUO charges throughout Suffolk County on Long Island, NY, and the five boroughs of New York City.


Information About Aggravated Unlicensed Operation Charges in New York


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AUO in the Third Degree (Misdemeanor)

A first offense is charged as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation or AUO in the third degree. This form of AUO is an unclassified misdemeanor punishable by a fine of between $200 and $500, a mandatory surcharge and possible imprisonment up to 30 days or probation.

More serious penalties apply if you are found guilty of AUO in the third degree while driving a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 18,000 pounds.

AUO in the Second Degree (Misdemeanor)

A second offense is charged as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation or AUO in the second degree. This form of AUO also is an unclassified misdemeanor. If the driver is convicted of driving with a license previously suspended or revoked within the prior 18 months due to a third-degree AUO conviction, it is punishable by a $500 fine, a mandatory surcharge and imprisonment up to 180 days.

AUO in the Second Degree (Misdemeanor with Enhanced Penalties)

The punishments are enhanced for AUO when certain aggravated factors are involved. The charges can increase if the driver is convicted of driving while suspended or revoked and one of the following:

  • The original suspension or revocation had resulted from either a conviction for an alcohol- or drug-related violation or a chemical test refusal
  • The original suspension was a mandatory suspension pending prosecution of an alcohol or drug-related offense
  • The driver has in effect three or more license suspensions, imposed on at least three different dates, for failure to respond to tickets.

Punishment for this form of AUO includes a mandatory fine of $500 to $1000, a mandatory surcharge and mandatory imprisonment of any number between 7 to 180 days or probation.

AUO in the First Degree (Felony)

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the first degree is a Class E felony punishable by:

  • a mandatory fine of $500 to $5,000
  • mandatory imprisonment up to four years or probation
  • possible seizure and forfeiture of the vehicle driven.

A driver may be convicted of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the first degree if driving while suspended or revoked and:

  • The driver is impaired or intoxicated, with a license or privilege currently under suspension or revocation for an alcohol or drug-related violation or a chemical test refusal
  • The driver has in effect 10 or more license suspensions, imposed on at least 10 different dates, for failure to respond to tickets.

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Forfeiture Actions in AUO Cases

Forfeiture for AUO in Nassau Count, NY - On January 2, 2014, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced 23 cars and one motorcycle that were seized by police and forfeited would be sold at auction to the highest bidder through a website called copart.com. at Copart’s Long Island facility at 1983 Montauk Highway in Brookhaven. The forfeiture of the vehicles was performed by DA Rice’s Civil Forfeiture Bureau, under the supervision of Bureau Chief Rebecca Winer.

The vehicles were taken subject to criminal forfeiture provisions for people convicted of crimes such as aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, driving while intoxicated, drug possession, grand larceny, reckless endangerment and robbery. The funds from the forfeiture of vehicles in Nassau County go to fund law enforcement actions such as the DWI enforcement unit and drug enforcement programs.


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Finding an AUO Attorney in Nassau County, New York

If you are charged with either a misdemeanor or felony version of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation for driving with a revoked or suspended license in Nassau County or Long Island, New York, contact Law Office of Stephanie Selloni. Related criminal traffic offenses can include reckless driving, DWI, DWAI, and aggravated DWI.

By obtaining legal advice, getting your license reinstated and resolving the case for the best possible result, you can avoid many of the expensive pitfalls created by these statutes. Call Stephanie Selloni at 516-972-1212 to discuss your case.