Asked about 3 years ago - Roslyn Harbor, NYFlag
I got two traffic tickets for driving without a license and as it turns out my license is expired and possibly suspended. On those occasions I also got tickets for an expired inspection sticker. I haven't driven a car since the last time since I was on my way to sell the car when it happened. I didn't pay the tickets partly because I am terrified and partly because I am unemployed. Now I have a court date. How much time in jail am I looking at? I've never been to jail or been arrested before.
The good news is that dealing with a first offense Aggravated Unlicensed Operator charge (for driving with a suspended license) is fairly straightforward in most places, even though it is a crime.
First, go to DMV and get a copy of your driver's abstract, This will show where you need to go to clear up your suspensions, if you have any.
Go to each and every court where you are suspended and, even if you cannot or will not take a quick plea to the tickets and pay those fines, pay for a suspension lift and get a court date on those tickets you cannot just pay.
If you have to pay something to Albany, that will take longer, so you want to do that ASAP.
When you go for your court date on the new tickets, bring proof that your suspensions are no longer in effect (the lift paperwork or receipts for fines paid, along with your copy of your abstract for reference.) With a first offense AUO, you may well be offered a plea to a lesser offense that is not a crime. This would typically involve a fine.
It is fairly rare to get jail on an AUO conviction in most places, unless the person has a history of these. I'm not sure of the policy in Nassau County. However, it is not unusual to be put in jail (if you cannot afford the bail) if you fail to appear in court yet again and are picked up on a warrant. So definitely make every court date, on time. You can keep yourself out of jail by getting to court.
If you are unemployed, you may be eligible for a public defender. When you go to court, if your license is not completely cleared and the case cannot yet be resolved to your satisfaction, ask to be assigned counsel or for an adjournment to retain an attorney. Or your could retain before you go to court -- there may be issues with the current tickets that are worth fighting. The focus in most courts is on the defendant getting his or her license clear, but that is not the only option in dealing with these cases.
That said, typically the most important thing in these sorts of cases is clearing up all suspensions, and that is something only you can do. The good part of this is that you don't have to wait until court to do something to help your case. You can start now.
DISCLAIMER: This answer to a short question is provided solely for general informational purposes and based on general legal principles and court practice. This answer does NOT constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.
The short answer is you need an attorney who deals with Vehile and Traffic Law. That is what e do.
It i a 2 step process: Clear up the underlying suspension and then deal with the tickets.
The medical disability may lead to a justification for the delay in answering the tickets but we can't rely on it.
In otherwords: We need a Plan B.
That is where I come in. I prepare the case in the light most favorable to you.
In all likelihood you'd pay a small fine and have no permanent blemish on the record.
Law Office of Terri b Kalker
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