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 25 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


Mr. Yates is a past-President of the Orange County Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association. He previously served as Chair of the Judicial Nominating Commission for the 9th Judicial Circuit. 

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  • When I met Tad Yates, I was frantic, scared and misinformed about the legalities of my case. He quickly reassured me that everything was going to be alright and started at once preparing my defense. Every time I needed to speak with him, he was there to give advice and inform me the status of my case. As a result of his hard work, he managed to get my case dismissed and this blemish off my record. If you’re thinking of hiring or consulting with Mr. Yates, your in great hands.

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  • Tad is an excellent attorney. Due to a momentary lapse in judgement, I was put in a bad position and could not be more grateful that I hired Tad. From the moment I met Tad, I knew that I was in great hands! Tad explained to me all possible outcomes of the case and really helped put my mind at ease. In the end, I wound up with a very positive outcome and I owe it all to him. Tad was always available when I needed to speak with him and I couldn’t be happier that I hired him. Without the help and guidance of Tad, I’m not sure where I would be today. Tad is not only an amazing attorney, but an all-around great person!

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  • I do not have enough words to describe how amazing the experience with this attorney was. He works very hard to obtain the best results for his clients. I could not have asked for better services. I had exceptional fast results, I highly recommend this attorney. Thank you again, Tad Yates.

  • After consulting with several different highly recommended lawyers, I decided to hire Tad. It was a decision that would truly effect my life in a very profound way. Tad never promised results, he did however layout his experience and give me his word he would put all his effort into my case. I felt that was the honesty I deserved. He was sincere, honest, and reliable. Every time we attended court he seemed to hold a very good relationship with all the court's people. My case with Tad lasted about 9 months. There were many times I wanted to break down, not knowing what the results would ultimately be; however Tad always personalized my case and would constantly provide me with assurance of his efforts. He was always extremely accessible. This gave me a lot of peace. The results of my case ended up being extremely satisfying. I was looking at losing everything, for good. I now have my peace, my freedom, and I am currently very successful. Even after my case, Tad kept tabs with me and ensured I was doing as I should. There is a handful of people God put in my life of whom helped me get to the next level, there is no denying Tad is one of them.

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  • Tad came highly recommended. Set up a consultation and after meeting him, hired him immediately. Tad is extremely knowledgeable, efficient and truly cares. He was always available to speak and support during a very difficult situation. Although he has many clients, he always made us feel important and took the time necessary to ensure our questions were answered and that we were comfortable with strategy and next steps. He ultimately achieved the desired result and we are forever grateful.

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  • When I met Tad Yates, I was frantic, scared and misinformed about the legalities of my case. He quickly reassured me that everything was going to be alright and started at once preparing my defense. Every time I needed to speak with him, he was there to give advice and inform me the status of my case. As a result of his hard work, he managed to get my case dismissed and this blemish off my record. If you’re thinking of hiring or consulting with Mr. Yates, your in great hands.- A.

    I was referred to Tad by a friend of the family. They told me what he did for them and assured me that he would do the same for me. He exceeded my expectations from start to finish. He used his knowledge of the law, professionalism and relationship skills to have my case completely dropped. No plea deals what so ever. He never once doubted me however he did explain exactly what we had to overcome. If you find yourself in a situation that could impact you for the rest of your life, whether you did anything wrong or not I would encourage you to give him a call.

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Ratings & Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0

    Tad and Kathy are wonderful. They've helped me tremendously and I cannot thank them enough. Best lawyer in Orlando.

    — Brenden McDaniels

  • 5.0/5.0

    Tad yates is an amazing person and lawyer! He helped me and my family so much and i couldn't be more thankful! I have never met such a caring, kind, focused, genuine soul actually trying to get justice and fight for you and your freedom and...
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    — Lizzie Haniff

  • 5.0/5.0

    I've know Tad Yates since 2002 and he is a top notch Criminal Defense attorney. This is the guy I would call if my kids or mom got in trouble. A UF Gator and a well respected member of the the Central Florida bar. His office manager is a...
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    — Jay Anthony

  • 5.0/5.0

    Will always Fight for you. He is straight up and honest

    — Barb Starling

  • 5.0/5.0

    Mr. Yates is one of our community's most experienced and respected attorneys. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking help with their legal matter.

    — Thomas Feiter