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Can You Drive During License Suspension or Revocation Periods in New York?

In New York, your driver’s license can be revoked or suspended for several reasons, such as accumulating points on your driving record or being convicted of certain violations. The length of the suspension or revocation varies and, in some cases, can be an indefinite period. While you are without driving privileges, you are not legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle. If you do drive, you could be charged with an unlicensed operation offense, which can be a misdemeanor or a felony. That said, you may be able to drive during the suspension or revocation period if you are eligible for and receive a condition or restricted use license.

Being without driving privileges can cause great hardship. At Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C., we help the people of New York protect and restore their driver’s licenses. Schedule a consultation by contacting us at (212) 235-1525 today.

How You Can Lose Your Driving Privileges

Various situations and violations can result in losing your driver’s license. Depending on your circumstances, your driving privileges may be suspended or revoked.

A suspension means that you lose your driver’s license for a certain amount of time. You may be subject to a definite or indefinite suspension period. With a definite suspension, there’s a specific end date attached. You can seek to have your license restored after that date passes.

A definite suspension can result from the following:

  • Accumulating 11 points in 18 months on your driving record. The points may be assessed based on convictions for certain traffic violations, such as speeding, reckless driving, following too closely, failure to yield, and unsafe lane changes.
  • Being convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving violation
  • Not having auto insurance
  • Not obeying junior drivers' rules

In contrast, an indefinite suspension does not have an end date. Instead, the DMV will tell you what actions you must complete to get your license back.

You can get an indefinite suspension for:

  • Not responding to a traffic ticket
  • Not paying the Driver Responsibility Assessment
  • Not filing an accident report
  • Not paying child support
  • Having unpaid state taxes
  • Not having auto insurance

A revocation means that your license to drive is completely taken away. The revocation period must pass before you can apply for a new license. At that time, you may be required to pay an application fee, and take a written test.

Your driver’s license may be revoked if you:

  • Drive without insurance
  • Are in an accident as an uninsured motorist
  • Are convicted of an alcohol or drugged driving offense
  • Are convicted of a serious traffic crime or of multiple violations
  • Make false statements on a license or registration application
  • Are a driver involved in a fatal accident

The Consequences of Driving Without a License

During the suspension or revocation period, you cannot legally drive. Getting behind the wheel after you have lost your driving privileges is a crime called Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO). The penalties that can be imposed are stiff and vary depending on your history.

Third-degree AUO is charged for a first violation of driving without a license.

It is punishable by:

  • A fine between $250 and $500
  • Imprisonment for up to 30 days or probation

If you drive during the revocation or suspension period and your license has been revoked or suspended previously, you may be charged with second-degree AUO.

The potential penalties include the following:

  • A minimum fine of $500
  • A mandatory surcharge
  • A mandatory jail term of up to 180 days or probation

First-degree AUO can be charged in two different circumstances. You were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs when your license was suspended for an alcohol- or drug-related offense. You have 10 or more driver’s license suspensions because you did not respond to traffic tickets.

First-degree AUO carries the following punishments:

  • A mandatory fine between $500 and $5,000
  • A mandatory prison term of up to 4 years or probation
  • Vehicle seizure and forfeiture

Options for Driving During the Suspension or Revocation Period

Not having driving privileges for any amount of time can make it challenging for you to take care of daily tasks. But you don’t have to risk getting an AUO charge to get things done. A couple of avenues may be available to you, allowing you to drive when you have lost your license.

Conditional License

A conditional license may be granted to eligible drivers subject to a license suspension or revocation because of an alcohol- or drug-related offense. To qualify, you must enroll in and complete the Impaired Driver Program (IDP) course and any other recommended treatment.

With a conditional license, there are limitations on where you can drive, including:

  • To and from work
  • For work-related purposes
  • To and from a DMV office for conditional license or IDP purposes
  • To and from an IDP class or activity
  • To and from a higher education institution (not high school) or vocational school
  • To and from court-ordered probation
  • To and from doctor’s appointments
  • To and from your child’s school or daycare

Restricted Use License

A restricted use may be issued to those convicted of non-alcohol or drugged driving-related offenses. Similar to the conditional license, a restricted use license only allows you to drive for certain reasons, such as getting to work or school.

Contact Our Firm Today

If you received a ticket or your driver’s license has been suspended or revoked, reach out to Martin A. Kron & Associates, P.C. We can help fight your citation to seek to avoid penalties like the loss of driving privileges. Additionally, we can provide representation at revocation hearings and pursue license restoration.

Contact us at (212) 235-1525 today.