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Innocent and Facing Charges That Would Have Ruined My Life
What is an AUO?
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Vehicle, and Unlicensed Driver
Everybody knows that it is against the law to drive a motor vehicle without a license, and the least serious charge relating to this type of offense is a traffic ticket for violating VTL 509(1) Unlicensed Driver. “Unlicensed Driver” is the ticket a person might get if they never actually got a driver’s license in New York State or forgot to renew their license.
Unlike its more serious cousins – the Aggravated Unlicensed Operation statutes – Unlicensed Driver is not a crime. It is a violation punishable with a fine of $75 to $300 ($40 if the driver was unlicensed for less than 60 days because of a failure to renew their license), no more than 15 days in jail (this virtually never happens), and a mandatory NYS Surcharge ($125 as I am writing this article).
Unlike the violation of “Unlicensed Driver,” Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Vehicle in the 3rd, 2nd, and 1st Degrees are all crimes. AUO 3rd and AUO 2nd are both misdemeanors, and AUO 1st is a Class E Felony. Despite the seriousness of these charges, a good attorney can be extremely effective when defending you. AUO charges often come in combination with other charges, such as a DWI or some other traffic violations that led to your vehicle being stopped.
What can a lawyer do to help?
As with many charges that begin with a traffic stop, the first thing that criminal defense attorney P. Adam Militello will do is examine the circumstances leading to the stop of your vehicle. Did the police have probable cause to pull you over? If not, any evidence that they gain after they pull you over is suppressed, and that may include learning that you are committing an AUO while driving the vehicle.
Police in and around Rochester use digital license plate readers.
Sometimes the fact that the owner of a vehicle has no valid license is the reason that the vehicle is stopped in the first place. Many State Police cars and some local sheriff cruisers are equipped with digital license plate readers. Police no longer have to drive up to a suspicious car, read the license plate and call it in to see if there is a problem with the registration or driver. Defense Attorney Adam Militello has been in a police car as it drove down an expressway in Rochester, and he watched as the cameras mounted on the cruiser read license plates, then fed the images of the plates to the laptop mounted next to the police officer, and when a problem plate was spotted, the entire laptop screen flashed red. Not only was the system completely automated – it functioned at night. If you have a problem with your license or registration, or if you have a warrant for your arrest, you can expect that your vehicle will be flagged for a stop by law enforcement, and driving at night won’t be any less risky for you than driving during the day. Police can literally check hundreds of plates per hour without lifting a finger.
If you have been ticketed for AUO or any other crime, call The Militello Law Firm for a free phone consultation. Our phone number is (585) 485-0025, and we are available 7 days a week.