Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) is defined as operating a motor vehicle when your privilege to do so has been withdrawn by the state. The charge concerns your New York State privilege. Often it happens that an out of state licensee will have his/her privilege to drive in New York State suspended or revoked. Even if you have a valid out of state license, you still can be charged with AUO if you are stopped while driving in New York State while your privilege to drive in New York has been either suspended or revoked. The status of your license in your home state is not relevant insofar as this charge is concerned.
A couple of issues are often raised in suspended license cases. First, many times a driver will be suspended for a specific period of time. What people sometimes don't realize is that these suspensions do not end by themselves. Usually a motorist must pay a suspension termination fee (STF) to restore his/her privilege. Failing to do this before resuming driving can result in an AUO charge. Similarly, where your license or privilege has been revoked for a period of time, the revocation does not end automatically; an application, accompanied by a fee, must be submitted. Further, sometimes people move and do not notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of their new address. While knowledge of the revocation or suspension is an element of AUO, if you moved without notifying the DMV, you will be presumed to know about a revocation or suspension if DMV mailed a notice to your old address.
An AUO charge is often the result of a mistake. Sometimes, the motorist will be unaware that he did not pay a fine, STF, or bond on a traffic summons and a suspension will result. In New York City, this usually results in the issuance of a Desk Appearance Ticket. Since AUO is a crime, an individual charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation should first consult with a qualified attorney. In addition to doing that, the most important thing you can do if you have been charged with this crime is to clear your suspensions as soon as possible. Once the suspensions have been cleared, an AUO charge can often be resolved with a plea to a non-criminal offense. These cases are not frequently tried, but to prove an AUO, the prosecution must demonstrate that the defendant had knowledge, either actual or imputed, that his/her license was not valid at the time of operation.