Driving with a suspended license in New York State can be a serious offense with stiff consequences. Often times, people are unaware that their license has been suspended only to find out during a routine traffic stop. Regardless, depending on your driving record, getting caught driving with a suspended license can lead to hefty fines, increased car insurance rates, and sometimes even jail time. There are options, however. Here are some things that you need to know about a suspended license in New York State.
Causes of a suspended license:
There are numerous reasons that a license can be suspended in the state of New York. The following are just a few causes that can lead to yours being temporarily revoked.
- Driving without Insurance: All vehicles in New York must be properly insured. Failure to do so can lead to a suspended license for 1 year, a fine of up to $1,500, and up to 15 days in jail.
- Driving without registration: In New York, driving without registration is more serious than one might think. The punishment for this infraction can include a suspended license, fines up to $300, and up to 15 days in jail.
- DWI/DWAI: Depending on your past history, your license can be suspended for 90 days up to a full year when you receive a DWI or DWAI.
- Accruing 11 Points Against Your License: If you manage to accrue more than 11 points against your license in an 18 month period, the state of New York can suspend your license. These points are assessed according to the date of the offense, not the date of the conviction. For example, texting while driving can result in 5 points against your license.
- Non-Moving Violations: These can include bouncing a check at the DMV, failure to pay child support, or failure to respond to a New York traffic ticket.
Keep in mind that once the term of the suspension has passed, the license is once again valid. You can return to driving without having to reapply for a new driver’s license. This is different than a full revocation of driving privileges altogether.
Driving while your license is suspended or revoked can lead to a charge of aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO) and is a criminal offense. Based on the level of AUO, drivers can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. If convicted of AUO the fines can exceed thousands of dollars and, potentially, months in jail. The alternative however can be just as devastating.
With a suspended license, you can face the loss of employment if you can’t get to work. In some cases, it can prevent you from getting a job. No one wants to be dependent on others to get from point A to point B on a daily basis. The loss of your license, even for a few weeks, can be a real hardship.
Despite these consequences, you have options if you’re facing a suspended driver’s license! Regardless of the initial infraction, a skilled attorney can often help you to avoid or reduce license suspensions. In some cases they may be able to get your driving privileges restored completely. Don’t assume that your license is lost; contact an attorney that is well versed in New York State Law to better understand your options.