Archive for August, 2014

Felon in Possession of Firearm in Texas – What’s at Stake if You Are Convicted

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Being considered a convicted felon in Texas is difficult enough for you and your loved ones.  Having a tarnished criminal record may prevent you from getting the job you want, finding a home or apartment to rent, or being accepted to a college or university.  Because the consequences of having a felony on your record in Texas are already serious enough, it is especially important for such individuals to stay away from anything that could be considered a firearm or other weapon.  Even touching another person’s gun, even if unintended, can be grounds for facing a felon in possession of firearm charge.  Despite the fact that Texas is a gun-friendly state, a being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm as a convicted felon is taken very seriously in this state, and it is crucial that you have a full understanding of the consequences that may result from a conviction.

Unlawful Possession of Firearm Under Texas Law

In Texas, an individual may be charged with and found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm if he or she possesses a firearm after a prior felony conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the individual’s release from jail and/or probationary supervision.  Further, such individual may also be charged with and convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm if he or she possesses a firearm after the five-year period at any location aside from the individual’s home. 

For individuals without a felony on their record, the punishment for being convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm is not particularly severe.  However, for individuals with one or more felonies on their record, possessing a firearm within five years following release from jail and/or probationary supervision can result in conviction of a third degree felony.  This conviction carries with it the potential for up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.  These potential consequences are extremely severe given the minor nature of simply possessing a firearm.

A charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm in Texas can be tricky when it is questionable as to whether or not an individual was truly in possession of a firearm or other weapon.  For example, if a firearm was nearby a person with a prior felony on his or her record, the firearm’s mere presence may be enough to charge a convicted felon with unlawfully possessing a firearm.  Given that so much is at stake when facing an unlawful possession of firearm charge with a prior felony on your record, it is imperative that you consider contacting an experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney to help you build a strong defense.

Contact Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in Texas, it is crucial that you act quickly to speak with a knowledgeable and skilled Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney.  Being a felon in possession of a firearm is very serious and has potentially harsh consequences.  If you act quickly, your attorney will advocate on your behalf to minimize the severity of any potential consequences.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience helping the accused fight very serious criminal charges.  Having a thorough understanding of what to expect from the prosecution, Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is able to provide his clients with well-rounded and thorough legal representation.  If you would like to speak with Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit about your criminal matter, contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Dallas County Defensive Driving School – An Option for Having Your Traffic Ticket Dismissed

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014

Many Dallas County residents facing traffic tickets tend to plead guilty, and pay the fine required by law instead of fighting the validity of the ticket.  This is much more convenient than looking for alternative solutions that may have an added cost.  However, even though some alternative solutions have added costs, the benefits of dismissing a Dallas County traffic ticket can be well worth the cost, when the potential outcome of multiple traffic tickets on your Texas driving record could cost you significantly more in the long run.

If you have traffic tickets on your Texas driving record, no matter how minor or serious the traffic ticket may be, you may see an increase in your automobile insurance rates and the imposition of points on your Texas driver’s license.  As such, it is well worth the time to consider possible methods for having your Dallas County traffic ticket dismissed.  While there are a few ways to seek dismissal of your traffic ticket, defensive driving school is an especially popular option because it is relatively inexpensive and it is a quick and easy option for eligible individuals.

Defensive Driving School and Dismissing Your Dallas County Traffic Ticket

Choosing to attend a defensive driving school in Dallas County may enable you to have a traffic ticket dismissed.  However, not every individual is eligible for having a traffic ticket dismissed.  Such ineligible individuals include, but may not be limited to, those with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), those receiving a traffic ticket for speeding 25 miles-per-hour or more over the speed limit, and those who have already had a traffic ticket dismissed within the last twelve months.  There may be other factors involved that make certain individuals ineligible for having their Dallas County traffic ticket dismissed, and this is why it is important to consider how a Dallas County Traffic Defense Attorney can help you.

For those who can seek dismissal of their traffic ticket, they can attend a defensive driving school that, if completed, will result in the dismissal of the Dallas County traffic ticket.  There are a variety of defensive driving courses and schools available, both at particular campuses and online.  Many people are choosing to take the course online as this is a much more convenient method for meeting the necessary requirements to have your Dallas County traffic ticket dismissed.  After successfully completing the course, the defensive driving school will provide you with a certificate that must be submitted to the court before your traffic ticket can be dismissed.  Upon receipt of the certificate, you will receive notification that your traffic ticket has been dismissed.

Contact Dallas Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

Traffic tickets plague Dallas County residents on a daily basis.  Too many traffic tickets could mean the suspension of your driver’s license, hefty fines, and an increase in your automobile insurance rates.  Don’t let traffic tickets harm your driving record for years to come.  If you have a traffic ticket, it is important that you take care of it right away.  With the help of a qualified Dallas Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney, you may have options available to you that will avoid the harsh consequences a traffic ticket has on your Texas driving record.  Dallas County Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has more than thirty years of experience helping clients fight nagging and sometimes serious traffic tickets.  As a former prosecutor, Dallas Traffic Ticket Defense Attorney Jack Pettit knows what to expect from the other side.  If you would like to speak with Jack Pettit about your traffic ticket, contact our office right away by calling (214) 521-4567 to schedule your initial consultation.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

 

 

Understanding Probable Cause – When an Officer Has the Power to Arrest You in Texas

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

We all have constitutional rights that must be respected when making contact with law enforcement officials.  Most of us generally know what the “Miranda warning” is and that this warning is read to an individual upon arrest.  However, what some of us might not be aware of is when a law enforcement official has the power to make an arrest.  Even if you have heard of the term “probable cause,” it is a good idea to find out as much as you possibly can about probable cause, so that you have an understanding of when an officer can and cannot make a lawful arrest.

What is Probable Cause?

Probable cause has the same meaning in Texas as it does in every other state.  Probable cause is intended to be a threshold requirement that an officer must establish before making an arrest.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for officers to make arrests without meeting the probable cause threshold requirement.  Probable cause may be established if an officer has objective evidence that leads him or her to believe that an individual has committed a crime.  This is something that is more than “reasonable suspicion,” which is a lower threshold.  An officer may be able to detain an individual if he or she has an objectively reasonable basis for believing the individual has committed a crime.

Probable cause is different from reasonable suspicion in that no arrest can be made based on reasonable suspicion alone.  There must be some sort of evidence that an officer can point to in order to link you to a particular crime.  As such, individuals who are arrested based on anything less than probable cause may have grounds for having their criminal charges dismissed.  Being arrested without probable cause is a violation of your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Why it is Crucial to Have Experienced Legal Counsel

Individuals who defend against criminal charges without the assistance of a skilled attorney are not doing everything they can to fight for their rights, as it is necessary to have the best legal representation possible.  With the guidance of a seasoned Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney, you will know whether or not there may be grounds to have your criminal charge dismissed based on the unconstitutional conduct of the arresting officer.  However, it is important to understand that the judge has the final say as to whether or not probable cause exists that you have committed a crime.  Regardless of whether or not a judge believes probable cause existed in your case, you still have a fighting chance to overcome your criminal charge in the most reasonable way possible given the individual circumstances of your case, so long as you have a strong advocate by your side.

Contact Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

Being arrested is a frightening experience for anyone, but especially so for those being arrested for the first time.  Many individuals being arrested in and around Dallas are not fully aware of what their rights are, and simply listen to an officer’s orders without asking questions.  If you have a good understanding of probable cause and when an officer actually has the power to arrest you, it may be easier for you to determine that a police officer may be stepping outside of his or her bounds.  If you or someone you know has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, it is important that you speak with a skilled Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney right away, as time is of the essence.  Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has more than thirty years of experience, both as a former prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney.  To schedule your initial consultation with Jack Pettit, contact our office today by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.