VTL § 511-a(1) “Facilitating Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the Third Degree”
Written By: Benjamin Goldman, Esq.
The exact wording of the statute is as follows:
(1) A person is guilty of the offense of facilitating AUO 3rd when such person consents to the operation upon a public highway of a motor vehicle registered in such person's name knowing or having reason to know that the operator of such vehicle is a person whose license or privilege of operating such motor vehicle in New York or privilege of obtaining a license issued to operate such motor vehicle by the commissioner is suspended, revoked or otherwise withdrawn by the commissioner and the vehicle is operated upon a public highway by such person.
(2) Facilitating AUO 3rd is a traffic infraction. When a person is convicted thereof the sentence of the court must be:
- (i) a fine of $200 to $500 or
- (ii) a term of imprisonment of not more than 15 days, or
- (iii) both.
In all my years of traffic ticket defense practice I have yet to come across an instance where someone actually received this ticket. This violation is very hard to prosecute, for several reasons. However, at the same time motorists often plead guilty to this violation. Here is the explanation:
When a motorist is found to be driving with a suspended license, they are typically charged with Aggravated Unlicensed Operator in the 3rd Degree. This is the criminal offense of “driving with a suspended license.” A conviction of this charge will result in a permanent criminal record. It is therefore imperative to fight this charge.
Often prosecutors will agree to reduce the criminal charge of driving with a suspended license to the charge of “facilitating”. Instead of being found guilty of driving with a suspended license you are found guilty of helping someone drive with a suspended license. This is a legal technicality, but a very important distinction. Driving with a suspended license is a criminal offense, but helping “i.e. facilitating” someone to drive with a suspended license is not a criminal offense. Facilitating is a simple traffic ticket. This violation will go on your driving record and may cause insurance increases but will not result in a criminal record.
The Benjamin Goldman Law Office has obtained such reductions. If you were charged with driving with a suspended license, feel free to get in touch with us.