Skilled Orlando Lawyer Defends You Against Charges of Motor-Vehicle Offenses
Central Florida attorney works to protect your freedom and your reputation
Florida law imposes harsh punishments for certain crimes arising from operation of motor vehicles — even those classified as misdemeanors. Jail time, significant fines, loss of driver’s license and a life-long criminal record are possible results of an arrest and conviction. The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates, P.A. in Orlando defends clients charged with serious motor vehicle crimes throughout Florida. With 27 years’ experience, Mr. Yates can provide you with effective counsel designed to attain the optimal outcome possible.
Seasoned counselor deals with the full range of motor-vehicle-related charges
Because they involve risk of serious danger to others or to public safety at large, certain crimes allegedly committed through the use of motor vehicles are subject to heavy penalties in Florida. They include:
- Vehicular homicide
- Reckless driving
- Highway racing
- Speeding resulting in an accident
- DUI and repeat DUI
- Refusing a breath test
- Passing a stopped school bus
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Attempting to elude a police officer
In addition, there are heavy penalties for such regulatory offenses as driving without a license, with a suspended or revoked license, with a license that has been expired for at least four months or with a registration that has been expired for at least six months.
Understanding possible penalties for motor vehicle offenses
Motor vehicle offenses in Florida run the gamut from second-degree misdemeanors, punishable by a few months of jail time and a $500 fine, to first-degree felonies, which can carry up to 30 years in prison and fines in the thousands. The degree of a crime and the punishment imposed often depend on the resulting harm to others. The presence of such aggravating factors can lead to charges like these:
- Willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property — This is a second-degree misdemeanor which carries up to 90 days in jail for a first offense, plus a fine up to $500.
- Causing property damage or injury to a person — This is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail or 12 months of probation and a $1,000 fine.
- Causing serious bodily injury — This is a third degree felony with penalties of up to five years in prison or five years of probation and a $5,000 fine.
Even a first DUI offense can become a felony if you caused injury to another person while intoxicated.
Building strong defenses against Florida motor vehicle crime charges
As your attorney, Tad Yates will examine all the facts surrounding your citation and/or arrest to determine what defenses may be available to you. Some offenses require a showing of intentional conduct. For example, fleeing the scene of an accident must be deliberate, not inadvertent. In many situations, the strength of the criminal accusation is dependent on what the police officer reports. In a number of situations, the officer cannot substantiate the charges, meaning the accused driver has a strong defense.
Florida imposes a five-year license revocation on a “habitual traffic offender” — defined as a person who has accumulated three or more convictions of specified offenses within a five-year period. These include commission of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter or any other felony by operation of a motor vehicle. If you have received an HTO revocation notice, Mr. Yates can analyze your case history to determine whether it is possible to vacate one or more of the underlying convictions.
Contact a skilled Orlando defense lawyer for your motor vehicle offense case
Your freedom and your driving privileges are too important to risk by trying to handle your own defense against criminal charges. The price of a lawyer could be significantly less than the fines and other costs of penalties you’re facing. The Law Offices of Tad A. Yates can provide you with the legal support you need. Schedule a consultation by calling 407-608-7777 or contacting the firm online.