To avoid having your license suspended for a period of time or revoked indefinitely, you should take steps to avoid the following errors:
Some violations may result in the person’s New York driver’s license being revoked for an indefinite amount of time until they remedy the situation. These 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 bad or fraudulent check to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), and refusing to pay child support.

Is it a crime to drive with a suspended license in New York?

Yes, in fact New York has some of the strictest laws in the U.S. when it comes to driving with a suspended license. License requirements and violations are covered in Sections 509 and 511 of the New York Vehicle and Traffic Code.
Driving with a suspended license in New York carries with it severe penalties and may even constitute a felony depending on the reasons for the suspension. It 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 New York, driving while your license is suspended or revoked is called “Aggravated Unlicensed Operation” (AUO) and is further subdivided into three different degrees.   3rd degree is the least serious and 1st degree is the most serious type. 1st degree AUO and is actually classified as a felony, while the other two are criminal misdemeanors.
The different conditions and penalties for AUO 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, and/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 appear in court
    • Penalties include fines ranging from $500-$1,000, and/or imprisonment of not to exceed 180 days. Probation may be ordered by a judge as well
  • 1st degree: The most serious type 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 not less than $500 and not more than $5,000, and an undefined amount of time in prison, and possible probation
Defenses to AUO charges are few and 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 your license has been suspended or revoked, it is still possible to have it reinstated so that you can drive again. The first step is to serve the entire length of your suspension time. If your license was revoked due to an unresolved incident (such as unpaid fines) you will first need to address the situation with the court or DMV.
Next, you will 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 you are once again eligible for a driver’s license.

Do I need a lawyer for driving with an invalid license in New York?

Driving while your license is suspended or revoked is a criminal misdemeanor, and can also result in felony charges. It is in your best interest to seek the services of a lawyer to represent your case. A competent attorney can help you prepare your case and explain to you the various details of New York traffic and vehicle laws.   A qualified New York traffic violation lawyer can provide you more information if there is a legal basis for your revoking your license.