Maintaining a driver’s license can be a big responsibility. Driving is not necessarily a right.
Instead, it is a privilege that is granted to an individual by the state in which they live. When an individual’s driver’s license is suspended, the privilege of driving is being withheld temporarily.
When an individual’s driver’s license has been revoked, the suspension of their driver’s license is permanent. This means that the individual’s driver’s license has been taken away entirely.
A suspended license is essentially temporary and may only be reinstated after a specific time or by taking the steps necessary to have their driving privileges reinstated. A driver’s license suspension lasts for either a definite period of time or for an open-ended period of time during which specific requirements must be met in order to reobtain the license.
A revoked driver’s license is permanent and is invalid forever. In some cases, it may be possible for an individual to earn a new driver’s license once theirs has been revoked, but not always.
There are several reasons why an individual may have their driver’s license suspended or revoked, including:
It is important for an individual to check with their state’s DMV to determine what specific violations may lead to license suspension or revocation. The DMV will also be able to provide information regarding what actions, if any, the state allows for resolving the suspension or revocation.
Driving laws vary by state. The examples provided above are general examples.
On What Grounds May a Driver’s License Be Suspended or Revoked in New York?
A driving license suspension in New York occurs when an individual’s license or driving privileges will be taken away for a period of time. In order for an individual to avoid having their license suspended for a period of time or revoked indefinitely, an individual should take steps to avoid the following errors:
There are some violations that may result in an individual’s New York driver’s license being revoked for an indefinite amount of time until they are able to remedy the situation, which may include:
- Failing to submit an accident report within 10 days of an accident;
- Not responding to a court judgment regarding a traffic accident;
- Issuing a fraudulent or bad check to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV); and
- Refusing to pay child support.
How Do I Check If My Driver’s License is Suspended or Revoked in New York?
In New York, an individual can check to determine whether their driver’s license is suspended or revoked by signing up for MyDMV and using the My License, Permit or ID service. Using this service, an individual can check:
- The current class and status of their driving privilege, for example:
- revoked; or
- The number of driver violation points on their driving record by purchasing their driving record;
- If an individual’s license, permit, or non-driver ID card is:
- expired; or
- due to be renewed;
- An individual’s document type, such as:
- REAL ID; or
- Their address on DMV records, and change it, if necessary;
- Their CDL medical certification status; and
- The mailing status of a document they recently ordered.
Using this service, an individual can also renew or order a replacement document. In order to access MyDMV, an individual must have a New York State issued driver’s license, permit, or non-driver ID.
Is it a Crime to Drive with a Suspended License in New York?
Yes, it is a crime to drive with a suspended license in New York. The State of New York has some of the strictest laws in the United States when it comes to driving with a suspended license.
Sections 509 and 511 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code provide the driver’s license requirements and violations. The penalties for driving with a suspended or revoked license in New York may be severe.
It may even be classified as a felony, depending on the reason for the suspension. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is a separate crime from the less serious offense of driving without a license.
What is “Aggravated Unlicensed Operation” and What Are the Penalties?
In the State of New York, if an individual drives while their license is suspended or revoked, it is referred to as Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). This offense is subdivided into three different degrees.
1st degree AUO is the most serious offense. 3rd degree AUO is the least serious offense.
1st degree AUO is classified as a felony. 2nd and 3rd degree AUO are classified as criminal misdemeanors.
The different conditions and penalties for Aggravated Unlicensed Operation violations are as follows:
- 3rd degree: Operating a motor vehicle with knowledge that the license has been suspended or revoked;
- Penalties include fines of no less than $200 and no more than $500, or imprisonment for a term of not more than 30 days;
- 2nd degree: Covers a wide range of violations, including:
- prior license suspensions;
- alcohol infractions;
- repeat violations; and
- failing to pay fines or failing to appear in court;
- Penalties include fines ranging from $500-$1,000 or imprisonment of not to exceed 180 days;
- Probation may be ordered by a judge as well; and
- 1st degree: The most serious category of AUO. It focuses on operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and prior records of 2nd degree AUO offenses;
- Penalties include:
- fines of an amount not less than $500 and not more than $5,000;
- an undefined length of time in prison, and
- possible probation.
There are some defenses to AUO charges. However, they only include instances where the offender has a current driver’s license issued by a foreign state, territory, country, or federal district which is valid for operation in New York.
Is it Possible to Get My Driver’s License Reinstated after a Suspension or Revocation?
If an individual’s license has been suspended or revoked, it may be possible to have it reinstated so that they can drive again. The first step is to serve the entire length of the individual’s suspension time.
If an individual’s license was revoked because of an unresolved incident, such as an unpaid fine, they will first need to address the situation with the court or DMV. The individual will then have to provide the necessary applications with supporting documents to the court and the DMV.
Reinstatement includes a fee and a case-by-case analysis to determine whether an individual is once again eligible for a driver’s license.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Driving with an Invalid License in New York?
An individual driving while their license is suspended or revoked is a criminal misdemeanor which may result in felony charges in certain cases. Because of this, it is in your best interests to consult with a New York traffic violation lawyer if you have been charged with this offense.
Your attorney can help you prepare your case and advise you of the various details of New York traffic and vehicle laws. Your attorney can also advise you regarding the possibility of having your driver’s license reinstated.