Ticket For Driving Without a Valid License in Central New York

If you’ve been ticketed for driving without a valid license in New York, you need to understand the serious long-term consequences you are facing. Even a first offense can result in jail time, while multiple offenses can result in thousands of dollars in fines. 

Your best option after being pulled over is to talk to a lawyer who can help you fight back against the ticket. Call New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to learn how we can help you avoid the serious penalties this type of ticket can bring. 

New York’s Laws About Driving Without a Valid License

New York’s VT 509(1) makes it illegal to operate a vehicle unless the driver carries a license for that vehicle. This applies to drivers who: 

  • Never earned a license
  • Have not passed the DMV driver’s test
  • Do not have the endorsement for a different vehicle type
  • Have a suspended or revoked license

Breaking this law results in a misdemeanor charge. Driving with a suspended or revoked license is also a misdemeanor, but a more serious one. In that situation, you can be charged with aggravated unlicensed operation (AUO). An AUO conviction comes with higher fines and longer sentencing time. 

New York law also requires drivers to carry their driver’s license any time they drive a vehicle. Drivers who have a valid license but do not have it with them when they are pulled over can receive a ticket for unlicensed operation. 

Penalties for Driving Without a Valid License in New York

Penalties for driving without a license depend on the specific law you were breaking at the time you were pulled over. In a case where you have a license and just did not have it with you when you were ticketed, there is a good chance the judge will dismiss the ticket. However, you must first show up to court and prove you have a valid license. 

In most other situations, it can be much harder to get a ticket dismissed. These scenarios include never having a valid license, having an expired license, or driving a vehicle you are not licensed to operate, like a commercial vehicle. You will need a lawyer’s help if you hope to beat the ticket. Penalties for all of these infractions include: 

  • Ticket for unlicensed operation
  • Marks against your driving record
  • Fines of $40 to $300
  • Possible jail time

The court takes circumstances into account when determining penalties. Someone driving with an expired license might only have to pay a smaller fine of $40. On the other hand, if you have never held a driver’s license, you will probably be facing a much higher fine. 

If you have been charged with the same offense in the past, you face much more serious consequences. Drivers convicted of operating without a license three times in a five-year period might be charged with a class C felony, which brings a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Aggravated Unlicensed Operation Penalties 

Drivers who are pulled over without a license while a license is suspended or revoked can be ticketed for aggravated unlicensed operation. That is a second-degree misdemeanor in New York. Penalties include: 

  • Fines of up to $1000
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Probation

If a suspension or revocation is related to past convictions for drugs or alcohol, you may also be sentenced to participate in a drug or alcohol treatment program.

How Our Traffic Ticket Lawyers Can Help

Many situations can lead to a ticket for driving without a license. Your reasons and any past convictions play a significant role in determining what type of punishment you face. This type of ticket can result in anything from having the ticket forgiven to being charged with a felony and being put behind bars for years. 

It is important to understand the possible long-term implications an unlicensed operation ticket can have. Your best option is to call a traffic ticket attorney and get help with your case. Based on the circumstances, a lawyer can identify the specific penalties you are facing in your case and build a defense for court. 

If you have never held a license or you were driving while your license was suspended or revoked, your traffic ticket lawyer can try to negotiate with the prosecutor. They can ask to have the charge reduced or argue for lenient sentencing. Trying to represent yourself in court in this type of situation is a mistake. When you face large fines and long jail sentences, you need a skilled lawyer fighting for your future. 

A New York Traffic Ticket Lawyer Can Help

A ticket for unlicensed driving in New York can be a big deal. In this situation, you need to understand your legal options and the penalties that might be heading your way. New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers is a central New York law firm that defends clients charged with violating New York driving laws. We have a long track record of successfully helping our clients beat tickets and getting fines and sentencing reduced. Contact New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers today to learn how we can help fight your ticket.