drove while knowing that their license was suspended for failure to answer, appear, or pay a fine. Just one active suspension is enough to support this charge.
VTL 511(2)(a)aggravated unlicensed driving is a misdemeanor with a 7 day minimum jail sentence and a $500 minimum fine, this charge requires proof of at least three 3 separate active suspensions imposed on at least three separate dates, or that the person drove while the license was suspended for a DWI refusal or was suspended pendency prosecution of a DWI case.
VTL 511(3)(a), aggravated unlicensed driving is an E felony and a driver with 10 or more active suspensions imposed on ten different dates can be subject to this charge. It requires Indictment by a grand jury and carries a maximum sentence of 1-3 years prison.
The official DMV abstract of one's driving record contains a history of their suspensions and it is usually in the Court file by the time the driver makes his first Court appearance. The Abstract will show that the driver's license was suspended on a particular date for failing to answer a summons and gives all pertinent information incuding the summons number, the county of suspension, and the particular TVB bureau involved. Usually, the abstract will have another entry on the same ticket number but two months later showing that a separate suspension was imposed for failing to pay the judgement imposed at the time of the initial failure to appear. That means that often there are two suspensions imposed on two separate dates involving just one outstanding summons. The moral is that drivers prone to ignoring summons can reach felony level after receiving --and not taking care of-- just five separately issued tickets.
VTL 511 charges are easy to prove at trial. Essentialy all that a prosecutor needs to prove her case is 1) credible testimony from the arresting police officer that he saw the defendant driving, and 2) testimony from a DMV records custodian who will introduce official DMV records showing that a) the Defendant's license was suspended on the date in question for failure to answer, appear or pay a fine, and b) that written notice of the suspension was mailed in accordance with DMV procedure to the Defendant's address as stated in DMV records. Getting the suspension cleared up after the arrest is not a defense at trial, although it might help get a reduction to a violation prior to trial.
It cannot be stressed enough that aggravated unlicensed driving under VTL 511 is a misdemeanor, which means a "crime", and a conviction results in a permanent criminal record. Getting an experienced NYC criminal defense lawyer to assist someone charged under VTL 511 is very important. Lawyers can help get the charge reduced to a VTL 509, which is a charge of unlicensed driving and is not a crime, nor does it carry any points. Or they can get it reduced to 511(a)-1I whic is also an infract.
I have handled many VTL 511 cases in the NYC criminal courts and have been successful many times in persuading the prosecutor to agree to a reduction of the 511 down to the infraction with no points. Usually, the VTL 509 is a good way for someone to settle their 511 charge. Anyone charged with VTL 5ll aggravated unlicensed driving should talk to a good criminal defense lawyer. Call me at 212-786-2999 for a free consultation about your VTL 511 charge.
Do you have an Aggravated Unlicensed Driving charge pending in NYC? Call an experienced NYC criminal defense lawyer at 212-786-2999 to discuss your case and to see about getting it reduced to an infraction with no points or getting it entirely dismissed.
Aggravated unlicensed driving in NYC comes in three degrees of seriousness depending on the number of suspensions and whether a DWI suspension is involved. VTL 511(1)a)aggravated unlicensed driving is the misdemeanor alleging that the person