If you were ticketed for driving with a suspended or revoked license in New York, you are facing an Aggravated Unlicensed Operation charge. In New York, a person is guilty of aggravated unlicensed operation when such person operates a motor vehicle upon a public highway while knowing or having reason to know that such person's license is suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn. NY Vehicle and Traffic Law §511
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO)
is Different From Other Traffic Tickets
a) AUO is a Criminal Charge
While a police officer or trooper may tell you that the ticket is no big deal, AOU is a serious
offense because it is a criminal charge. Most tickets are "traffic infractions" and NY law specifically states that all "traffic infractions" are non-criminal offenses. If you are convicted of speeding, for example, if someone should ever ask you if you have ever been convicted of a crime, you can and should say "no."
An AUO, on the other hand, is a misdemeanor and would be a criminal conviction.
b) You Must Appear in Court
If you look toward the bottom of the ticket underneath the court and address, you will see "Must appear in person on:" checked. Because you are facing a criminal charge with an AUO, you must appear in the town, village, or city criminal court for an arraignment.
At your arraignment, the judge will inform you of the charges against you and ask you to enter a plea. You will plead not guilty and the judge will adjourn the case to give you time to find a lawyer or will assign you counsel if you cannot afford one.