Archive for August, 2013

Five Reasons Not to Ignore Dallas Traffic Tickets

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Sometimes, it can be tempting to ignore life’s little annoyances in the hopes that if you ignore them for a long enough period of time, they will go away. Traffic tickets certainly fall into the category of things that are considered highly aggravating because it takes time, money, or both to deal with them – and, time and money are things that are in short supply for many people. Unfortunately, just as with other types of everyday annoyances that do not disappear when they are ignored, that traffic ticket isn’t going anywhere until you take some form of action to address it.   Here are five reasons why you do not want to ignore Dallas traffic tickets, or any other traffic tickets for that matter:

  1. A warrant could be issued for your arrest. When you get a traffic ticket, you can choose to pay the ticket and plead guilty or no contest; or you can choose to contest it and plead not guilty. Ignoring the ticket is not a viable option because if you do not send in a payment or a plea for the ticket and you fail to attend the hearing where you could contest the ticket, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
  2. You could go to jail. If you have an outstanding Failure to Appear warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket that was issued in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas, you run the risk of being arrested every time you get behind the wheel. As long as that warrant is outstanding, in the event that you are stopped for any type of traffic violation, you may be arrested at once and taken to jail.
  3. You could end up paying even more than the amount of your initial ticket. If you do not send timely payment in for a traffic ticket and you then fail to appear in court for the hearing, Failure to Appear fines may be added to the amount of the original ticket. Avoid incurring additional costs by making a decision about whether or not to contest your traffic ticket within a few days of receiving it. Whichever way you choose to proceed, make a note on your calendar about when to send in your payment or when to contact an attorney to discuss contesting the ticket.
  4. Your driver’s license could be suspended. If you accumulate four traffic tickets within one year, or seven traffic tickets within a period of two years, your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked.
  5. You may end up paying a fine for a ticket that you could have gotten dismissed. In some cases, non – commercial drivers who get a traffic ticket in Texas may be eligible to have their ticket dismissed if they take action on it in the form of pleading not guilty, appearing in court, and offering to take a driver safety course. If you fail to appear for the hearing, your ticket will not be dismissed.

Receiving a traffic ticket is annoying.  As noted above, simply ignoring it won’t make it go away, and could lead to mounting legal problems and huge annoyances in the future. If you would like to learn more about contesting your Texas traffic ticket, call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at (214) 521-4567. Attorney Jack Pettit has been providing exceptional defense representation for clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years, and there is a good chance that he could help you with your Texas traffic ticket.

Texas Traffic Tickets & Out-of-State Commercial Drivers

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Working as a truck driver can be very exciting because your work can take you to many places, including the wide open roads of the State of Texas. Unfortunately, the sheer number of hours that you spend on the road during your working hours puts you at risk for receiving traffic tickets of all kinds. Not only that, but the laws that apply to individuals with commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL) require you to follow more rules than regular motorists, who need not concern themselves with weight limits, log books, or the many other requirements.  If you are driving through Texas and receive a traffic ticket, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the logistics of trying to fight the ticket when your work schedule is already full, and you most likely won’t be in Texas at the time of the hearing. All is not lost, though. Even out of state CDL drivers have a fighting chance when it comes to contesting Texas traffic tickets.

Before you send in a payment for that Texas traffic ticket, take time to think about your options. Remember, you have more at stake than the average driver because your CDL license is your license to do your job. You worked hard to earn your CDL license, and the points that can be added to your license from various types of traffic tickets can result in serious damage.  Specifically, not only do you risk losing your job at the company that you work for now, but if you are unable to use your CDL license for any period of time, you won’t be able to work at any trucking company whatsoever.  Of course, once your license is reinstated, finding work will be harder than ever with those tickets in your driving history. Paying your ticket without trying any other avenues of relief first is the worst possible option – just don’t do it. There are attorneys who are skilled in defending CDL drivers like you, and they can help you to dispense with that traffic ticket without jeopardizing your license or your livelihood.

When you are an out-of-state driver with a CDL, your best defense against a Texas traffic ticket is having an experienced defense attorney by your side. An attorney who is skilled at handling CDL defense cases can pursue the dismissal of your Texas traffic ticket, which would be an optimal outcome for you. Yes, dismissal is sometimes possible in CDL cases, even if not all of the dismissal options that are available to regular motorists are available to you as a CDL driver. Even if the charges against you are legitimate, an experienced Texas CDL defense attorney can take measures to mitigate the damages, including offering settlements to keep the citation off of your record, reducing the points that go on your CDL license, and even representing you at a trial if it becomes necessary to do so. Most of these things can be done by your attorney on your behalf, even as you continue to work and be on the road.

Whether you are a trucker from out of state, or a Texas CDL driver who spends all of their time hauling freight in the Lone Star State, Jack Pettit can help you resolve your traffic tickets. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing superior defense representation to clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567, to learn more about how a skilled CDL defense attorney can help to protect your CDL license.

Five Reasons Why You Need a Dallas Defense Attorney for Your Misdemeanor Charge

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

Don’t let the fact that a misdemeanor is different from a felony fool you, as a misdemeanor does not mean that it is a “minor” crime. As with all crimes, there are punishments for those who are convicted of misdemeanors, and they can be quite serious.  However, a seasoned criminal defense attorney can help to minimize the impact of misdemeanor charges on your life. Here are five reasons why you should seek the assistance of a Texas criminal defense attorney as soon as you are charged with a misdemeanor:

  1. Class A and Class B misdemeanors have long term consequences that can impact more areas of your life than you might imagine. From limitations on your future employment, housing options, and even your immigration status, to interference with your family life in the form of losing custody of your children, these consequences can be harsh and far – reaching. It is no exaggeration to say that a misdemeanor conviction in Texas can mess your life up for quite some time.
  2. Probation is not always a simple and straightforward option for dealing with a misdemeanor charge. A Texas criminal defense attorney can help you to decide whether probation is in fact your best available option. If it is, your Texas defense attorney can help to ensure that the conditions of your probation are fair, so that your chances of successfully completing your probation are good.
  3. You have rights that you may not even be aware of. For example, there are rules and procedures that law enforcement, prosecutors, and other people involved in your situation must follow. If any one of those people fails to follow the rules, they could be violating your rights, which could affect the outcome of your case. A knowledgeable Texas criminal defense attorney can help you to understand what your rights are, and ensure that they are protected.
  4. Certain types of misdemeanors can be expunged if certain criteria are met. An expunction can limit the circumstances under which you must disclose information about your misdemeanor conviction. An expunction can also, in many cases, restore your right to bear arms. Your Texas criminal defense attorney can help you to understand expunction as it pertains to your particular misdemeanor charge, and can help you pursue expunction if it is available in your case.
  5. A Texas criminal defense attorney can help you to determine what your options are when you are faced with a misdemeanor charge. More importantly, a Texas criminal defense attorney can help you decide which option is best for you based upon your needs and your priorities. Every client facing a misdemeanor charge is unique, and your attorney will work hard to pursue a course of action that is designed with your needs in mind.

Misdemeanor charges in Texas are serious business and can have serious legal consequences if not legally addressed. In order to obtain the best possible outcome in your misdemeanor case, you need superior criminal defense representation from someone who has plenty of experience. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing exceptional lega representation to clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years.

Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567, to learn more about how a skilled Texas criminal defense attorney can minimize the impact of a misdemeanor charge on your life.

What You Should Know About the Texas Warrant Roundup

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

The phrase “Texas Warrant Roundup” may bring to mind images of a fictional event that was pulled straight from the pages of a Texas-sized tall tale. As fictional as the name may seem, though, the Texas Warrant Roundup is a real occurrence that happens every year. It is a serious event that should not be taken lightly, especially by people for whom a warrant has been issued.

If you do not know just how serious the Texas Warrant Roundup is, take note. If there is a warrant for your arrest which is outstanding at the time of the Roundup, police or U.S. Marshals can arrest you anytime, anywhere – including at your home or place of employment. During the Texas Warrant Roundup, the police go out in force, looking for people who have outstanding warrants. They even have special equipment for scanning license plates, which helps them identify drivers for whom warrants are outstanding.

Overall, it is important to know that the Texas Warrant Roundup happens usually in February or March. In order to encourage people to settle their outstanding warrants before the annual Texas Warrant Roundup occurs, the State of Texas offers a grace period prior to the start of the Warrant Roundup. The grace period offers anyone with an outstanding warrant to come forward and pay their fine without incurring any further fees or penalties, and spares them from the possibility of being arrested during the Warrant Roundup.

In addition to the annual Texas Warrant Roundup, some cities and towns conduct smaller, localized Warrant Roundups a few times a year. Also, an outstanding warrant can place you at risk for more than being arrested. Outstanding warrants can cause the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles to place a hold on renewal of your vehicle registration and on renewal of your driver’s license. Because Warrant Roundup events create a high risk for arrest as well as restrictions on your driver’s license and vehicle registration, it is a good idea to deal with a warrant as soon as you learn that one has been issued.

When you take prompt action to deal with a warrant, you have more options available to you than you would if you were arrested and brought to jail. If you want to clear your warrant but you are unsure how to go about doing so, many city and county websites have information about how to clear outstanding warrants. If you think that there may be an outstanding warrant in your name because you have forgotten to pay a traffic ticket or attend a hearing, or for some other reason, there are resources on the internet which enable you to check whether such a warrant exists. While you may be able to clear your outstanding warrant on your own, there can be advantages to contacting an attorney.

If you have an outstanding warrant at the time when the Texas Warrant Roundup is approaching, you may be able to reduce your costs and maybe even get that warrant suspended by enlisting the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing exceptional criminal defense to clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567, to learn more about the Texas Warrant Roundup, or other concerns related to traffic violations or criminal defense.