When a police officer stops a driver for a speeding ticket or another type of traffic violation, the police officer will usually run the driver’s license through their database. The officer may discover that the driver’s driving privileges have been suspended. As a result, the officer may write a ticket for Unlicensed Operator (VTL 509.1).
You may be tempted to ignore the ticket or plead guilty if you’ve been ticketed for driving as an unlicensed operator. However, fighting the traffic ticket can help you in the long run. The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers are here to help. We may be able to clear the suspension of your driving privileges. We can appear in court for you to seek and obtain a reduction to the driving charge as an unlicensed operator. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers to schedule a free initial case evaluation and learn more about how we can fight your ticket for you.
Driving Without a License VTL 509.1
Operating a vehicle without a driver’s license violates VTL 509.1. Driving without a license is a traffic infraction, not a misdemeanor charge. Nonetheless, the penalties and consequences of driving without a license can be significant. Although being convicted of driving as an unlicensed operator will not give you a criminal record, the court still has the authority to impose a jail sentence.
Judges throughout New York have imposed jail sentences for this type of traffic infraction, particularly when the driver has multiple prior convictions for the same or different infractions.
Fines and Surcharges
VTL 509-1 states that anyone who is convicted of driving without a valid driver’s license in New York State will be charged a fine of between $75 and $300. Drivers whose license has expired for over 90 days will also face the same fine. Drivers whose licenses have expired for less than 90 days can be fined up to $40. The state of New York also imposes an additional mandatory store charge of $88 or $93, depending on whether the driver received a ticket in a town, village, or other court jurisdiction.
Auto Insurance Increase
In addition to paying the fines and surcharges, a driver convicted or pleads guilty to being an unlicensed operator will also face increased auto insurance premiums. Depending on the insurance provider and other factors like accidents or other traffic-related convictions, the driver’s auto insurance premiums can rise by as much as 20 percent. It can take years for the premiums to decrease after receiving an unlicensed operator ticket.
Loss of Auto Insurance Coverage
In some cases, in addition to experiencing a hike in their premiums, drivers are at risk of losing their auto insurance coverage. For example, if an insurer discovers that the customer’s driver’s license is no longer valid, they have the right to drop the client, even if the client has been paying their monthly premiums every month. When an insurer drops a client, that client will have a gap in auto insurance coverage that could make obtaining an insurance policy even more expensive in the future. The new insurance provider will also charge the driver high premiums because of the unlicensed operator ticket.
A driver can go to jail after receiving a ticket for driving without a New York license. The judge has the authority to impose a jail sentence of up to 15 days. When you work with an experienced attorney, your attorney’s advocacy can prevent you from receiving jail time.
Defenses for Driving without a License
Defending against a charge for driving without a license can be challenging, and the best legal defense depends on your unique case. When you work with The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers, we will take the time to understand the facts in your case and develop an effective legal defense. As a driver who’s received a ticket under VTL 509, the burden of proof is on you to show that you were licensed to drive when you were ticketed. If you can produce legitimate evidence that you were licensed at the time of the ticket, you are far more likely to beat the charge against you.
The driver’s license doesn’t have to be issued by New York to be valid. An unexpired driver’s license in any US state or Canada can be used to beat the charge. If you are not a New York state resident, you can also use any license issued by another country. Those who cannot provide proof of a valid driver’s license still have options. Your attorney can negotiate aggressively with the prosecutor to try to have the charges against you reduced. It’s crucial that you work with an attorney who can advocate for the best outcome possible.
Fighting a Ticket for Driving Without a License as an Out-of-State Driver
If you have been charged with driving without a license as an out-of-state driver, you must produce evidence of a valid driver’s license. if you have a valid, unexpired license in another US state, you can use it to beat the charge. The conviction will appear on your out-of-state driving record if you are convicted. Working with an attorney who has experience fighting and beating New York traffic tickets can help you avoid conviction.
Discuss Your Case with a Skilled Traffic Ticket Attorney
Our attorneys have experience representing clients throughout New York State. Before you plead guilty, we recommend discussing your case with an attorney. Fighting the ticket may help you avoid a significant fine, a longer suspension of your driver’s license, and expensive insurance premium increases. If you’ve been ticketed for driving as an unlicensed 509.1, you’ll benefit from having a skilled and aggressive traffic ticket attorney on your site. Contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about how we can advocate for you.
If you have been served a ticket for being an unlicensed operator or driving without a license in Madison County, Cayuga County, Onondaga County, or Cortland County, contact The New York Traffic Ticket Lawyers in Syracuse to help you fight the ticket.