Driving on a Suspended License in New York

If you live in New York, you may lose your driving privileges for a number of different reasons. Suspension or revocation may occur for certain convictions, driving offenses, and even failing to pay child support.

If you live in New York, you may lose your driving privileges for a number of different reasons. Suspension or revocation may occur for certain convictions, driving offenses, and even failing to pay child support. Driving while your license is suspended or revoked is a crime.

Reasons for Suspension or Revocation

Certain convictions, offenses or other matters may result in the suspension or revocation of your license For example, your license may be suspended or revoked for:

  • homicide or assault, if you were driving; or criminal negligence that results in death, if you were driving
  • advocating the overthrow of government
  • leaving the scene of an accident without making a report of it
  • three or more speeding convictions within 18 months
  • speed contests and racing
  • three violations for overtaking and passing a school bus
  • abandoning a vehicle
  • assault against a traffic officer in New York City or Buffalo
  • certain drug crimes
  • failing to exercise due care
  • operating under the influence
  • persistent or habitual violations of traffic laws
  • failing to appear in court when required for a ticket, or failing to pay a fine, and
  • failing to pay child support. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 510(2)(a-b), § 510(3)(a), § 510 (3)(i), § 510 (4-a - 4-e).)

There are many other reasons your license may be suspended or revoked.

Reinstating Your License

The period of time your license is suspended or revoked may depend on several factors. You should not drive while your license is suspended or revoked. After your period of suspension or revocation, you may need to pay a reinstatement fee or complete other requirements before you may legally drive again.

  • For certain license revocations, you may have to pay a $100 application fee for a new license. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 503(2)(h).)
  • If you are a non-resident whose license was revoked, you may have to pay a $25 application fee for a new license. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 503(2)(i).)
  • If your license was suspended, you may have a $50 fee. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 503(2)(j).)
  • If your license for failing to appear in court or failing to pay a fine, you may have a $70 fee to the court before your license will be reinstated. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 503(j-1).) If you have multiple suspensions in this situation, an individual court may charge you more than $400. § (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 503(j-1).)

Charges for Driving While Suspended or Revoked

If you drive while your license is suspended or revoked, you may be charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the circumstances.

In many situations, you may be charged with third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(1)(a).) The charge is a misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of:

  • a fine between $200 and $500, and
  • 30 days in jail. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(1)(b).)

In certain situations you may be charged with second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Examples include driving while your license was suspended or revoked due to operating under the influence, and a new charge for driving while suspended or revoked if you have previous convictions within the last 18 months. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(2)(a).) The charge is a misdemeanor, and the sentence may depend on the reason for the suspension. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(2)(b).) It may involve:

  • a fine of at least $500, and
  • up to 180 days in jail, probation or both. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(2)(b).)

In other situations, it may involve:

  • a fine between $500 and $1,000, and
  • between 7 days and 180 days in jail, probation or both. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(2)(b).)

If you are driving under the influence while your license is suspended, if you have a specified number of previous convictions, or if other conditions apply, you may be charged with first-degree aggravating unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(3)(a).) The charge is a class E felony, and the sentence may involve:

  • a fine between $500 and $5,000,
  • incarceration, probation, or both (N.Y. Veh. & Traf. Law § 511(3)(b).)

Legal Help for Charges of Driving While Suspended or Revoked

Hiring an attorney is wise if you are charged with driving while your license is suspended or revoked. As you have learned, a conviction may come with the prospect of fines and jail time. The consequences can have serious effects on your ability to keep working, go to school, obtain or retain insurance, and to generally live your life. While the law provides specific penalties for this crime, your sentence will be shaped by the attitude of your local prosecutors and judges toward the crime. A lawyer who is familiar with these charges in your city will be able to provide you with specific information about your case.

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