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Elliot Felig & Associates

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Driving with a suspended license

It’s an absolutely horrifying experience, but every day, in New York and elsewhere, drivers are pulled over for the most minor of offenses, only to learn, to their shock and dismay, that their driver’s license has been suspended. Suddenly, people who have never had any involvement with the criminal justice system then find themselves under arrest, often taken to a police precinct, and sometimes held overnight in jail before facing arraignment before a judge.

Is it actually a crime to drive with a suspended license?

In New York State, and other jurisdictions, there are a variety of potential charges, including criminal charges, which can arise from driving with a suspended or a revoked driver’s license. In even the most minor of cases, however, one can face potential jail time. For this reason alone, anyone charged with any kind of offense related to driving with a suspended or revoked license should have experienced counsel to assist in their legal defense.

What are some of the types of charges one can face?
The specific charges will depend on the circumstances surrounding both the suspension and the basis for the traffic stop. So, for example, if the suspension arises only from a one-time failure to pay, for example, a parking ticket, then there is a good chance the charge will be New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 509, which is not a criminal offense, and therefore even a finding of “guilty” will not result in a criminal record. However, if the suspension arises from multiple suspensions, such as the failure to pay for multiple tickets, one could face actual criminal charges, such as New York Vehicle and Traffic Law 511.1a, Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree.

What are the potential ramifications of a charge of Aggravated Unlicensed Operation?

This is a criminal charge, and as such if someone is convicted they face the prospect of jail time, of probation, and the possibility of a criminal record. In light of these potential ramifications, it is essential to have an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who knows exactly what strategy to pursue to fight such a charge, and the trial experience necessary to fight and win at trial if necessary.

Can Felony charges arise from a charge of operating a vehicle with a suspended license?

In New York state, in some instances felony charges will arise from a charge of driving with a suspended license, if for example, there is a prior history of driving without a license, or a history of drunk driving, or if the reason for the suspension is a prior refusal to take a Breathalyzer exam or other issue relating to driving while intoxicated or driving while under the influence. As with any felony charge, there is the prospect of prison time, probation, and a permanent criminal record.

Why should you contact Elliot Felig & Associates if you are facing charges arising from driving with a suspended license?
Elliot Felig has two decades of experience handling criminal cases in New York. As a prosecutor for 13 years, Elliot Felig knows exactly how prosecutors and judges look at a case, knows exactly what issues are worth pursuing, and knows exactly what strategies are most likely to be successful. For a free consultation, call today at 212-828-2770.