Driving with a suspended license can be an extremely serious offense in New York with Aggravated Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree being a Felony in New York. A recent decision decided toward the end of April, in the Appellate Division, Third Department, demonstrates why these cases must be treated very seriously and handled by experienced criminal defense lawyers. Originally, the defendant was convicted of aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle in the first degree. The defendant’s attorney filed a pre-trial motion to suppress certain incriminating evidence, which the lower court summarily denied without a hearing because the motion was not supported by sworn allegations of fact. When the defendant appealed this denial, the higher court considered the evidence but ultimately decided the trial court’s ruling should stand.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant was driving one night when he made two turns without using a turn signal. A patrolling officer pulled him over for a routine traffic stop, at which point the officer learned that the defendant was operating the motor vehicle without a license.
The defendant’s attorney promptly filed a motion to suppress evidence of the conversation between his client and the officer during the traffic stop. The court denied that motion and the defendant pleaded guilty to the crime, and received a sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison.