You might lose your driving privileges for a variety of reasons in New York, just like in other states. Certain crimes, traffic infractions, and even failure to pay child support can result in suspension or revocation. It is illegal to drive when your license is suspended or revoked. In this article, Eastcoastlaws.com will outline all you need to know about driving on a suspended or revoked License in New York.
Can You Drive With A Suspended License In NY?
Driving on a suspended or revoked license in New York is illegal and could result in serious consequences. If you are caught driving with a suspended license, you may face additional fines and penalties, including the impounding of your vehicle and even jail time. The length of your license suspension depends on the reason for the suspension, but it can range from a few months to several years.
There are several reasons why a license may be suspended in New York, including failing to pay traffic tickets, accumulating too many driving violation points, and being convicted of certain criminal offenses, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If you need to drive while your license is suspended, you may be able to obtain a restricted license, which allows you to drive under certain conditions, such as for work or medical appointments. To obtain a restricted license, you must first pay any outstanding fines and attend a hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
What Does It Mean to Have Your License Suspended or Revoked?
Having your license suspended or revoked typically indicates that the state has removed your ability to drive. In other words, you are unable to legally drive while the suspension or revocation is in effect.
General Differences Between Suspension and Revocation
Revocation and suspension are terms that are interchangeable and have similar meanings in several states. However, in certain states, “revocation” refers to the permanent loss of privileges whereas “suspension” refers to a temporary loss of powers. The driver can normally submit an application for reinstatement after a predetermined amount of time, even in states where revocation is permanent.
Difference Between Suspensions and Revocations in New York
A suspension and revocation are essentially the same in New York. The method by which you regain your driving rights differs between the two. Once the suspension period is up, you must pay a termination charge to get your driving privileges back. After a revocation, you’ll normally need to reapply for a license and could need to retake the licensing exams in order to regain your driving rights.
What Are the Reasons for License Suspension or Revocation in New York?
Here are a few of the more frequent grounds for license suspension or revocation in New York for drivers.
Common Reasons for License Suspension in New York
A driver might be looking at a period of license suspension for any of the following reasons:
- driving while ability impaired by alcohol (a charge that’s less serious than a DWI but closely related)
- violating the state’s underage “zero tolerance law”
- driving without insurance
- getting too many traffic tickets within a certain period of time
- violating the graduated license rules (for new drivers)
- failing to pay a traffic ticket
- failing to pay child support
- failing to pay state taxes, and
- neglecting to file an accident report.
A suspension could be permanent or only temporary, depending on the circumstances. With an indefinite suspension, the motorist will typically have to fulfill a requirement (such as getting car insurance) before the suspension is lifted.
Common Reasons for License Revocation in New York
License revocation is normally the result of some type of criminal conviction. Here are some of the most common reasons a driver’s license might be revoked:
- vehicular homicide or assault
- leaving the scene of an accident (hit-and-run) without making a report of it
- speed contests and racing
- getting three violations for overtaking and passing a school bus within three years
- abandoning a vehicle
- assault against a traffic officer in New York City or Buffalo
- certain drug crimes
- driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- refusing a chemical test in violation of the state’s implied consent law
But this is just a partial list—there are many other reasons your license can be revoked.
What Are the Penalties for Driving While Suspended or Revoked in New York?
Depending on the situation, driving while your license is suspended or revoked may result in a misdemeanor or felony prosecution. The conditions also affect a conviction’s punishment.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Third Degree
Drivers who operate a vehicle while their license is suspended or revoked are sometimes prosecuted with “third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation,” a third-degree misdemeanor. The least serious offense in this group is third-degree aggravated unlicensed operation.
When a driver drives on a public road “while knowing or having reason to know” that their license is suspended or revoked, they may be found guilty of this violation.
A conviction generally carries:
- $200 to $500 in fines and/or,
- up to 30 days in jail.
However, for certain large vehicles (with a rating of more than 18,000 pounds), the conviction fines are $500 to $1,500.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the Second Degree
A driver may also be accused of “second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation,” which is a more serious violation. A second-degree aggravated unlicensed operation is one that:
- the driver was convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation within the preceding 18 months
- the suspension or revocation was for an implied consent violation
- the suspension or revocation was for a DWI conviction, or
- the driver has had three or more suspensions related to the failure to appear in court or pay a ticket fine.
A conviction for this offense is a second-degree misdemeanor and typically carries:
- a fine of $500 to $1,000, and
- seven to 180 days in jail.
However, where a second-degree unlicensed driving conviction is based on having a prior within the past 18 months, the penalties are:
- a minimum fine of $500, and
- up to 180 days in jail.
For either type of conviction, the penalties might be less serious if the judge grants probation.
Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the First Degree
The most serious charge in this group aggravated unlicensed operation in the first degree is a class E felony. If a driver engages in driving when their license is suspended or revoked and:
- under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- the driver has had ten or more suspensions related to the failure to appear in court or pay a ticket fine
- the revocation was permanent, and
- the driver held a conditional license (restricted driving privileges).
A first-degree unlicensed operation conviction carries:
- $500 to $5,000 in fines
- up to four years in prison.
How do You Reinstate a Revoked or Suspended License in New York?
Depending on the situation, your license may be canceled or suspended for a specific period of time. The process for getting your license back varies on why you lost your driving privileges and whether it was “suspended” or “revoked.”
License Reinstatement Following a Suspension in New York
Before getting your license returned after the majority of suspensions, you must pay a “suspension termination fee”. Typically, there is a $50 or $100 fee.
However, based on the reason your license was suspended, you might also need to do another duty before you can get it back, such as paying child support, resolving a traffic infraction, or paying back any overdue taxes.
License Reinstatement Following a Revocation in New York
Following a revocation, you typically need to obtain a new license from the DMV, pay a civil penalty, and reapply fees in order to have your license back. Depending on the cause of the revocation, the civil penalties often vary from $125 to $750. Depending on the type of license, reapplication fees might range from roughly $65 to $120.
What You Need To Know
It’s a good idea to speak with an accomplished defense lawyer as soon as possible if you’re charged with operating a vehicle while your license is suspended or revoked. A competent attorney can explain how the law applies to your particular circumstances and assist you in choosing the best course of action for your case.