Archive for November, 2014

Dallas County Attorney Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Traffic Tickets

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

The world is a busy place and moves quickly. Some days you may be able to keep up without breaking a sweat. While on other days you may find yourself falling behind at every turn. On some of those days, you may have felt the need to drive a little too fast or to run a stop sign in order to make it to work on time. It happens. But sometimes, as your luck may have it you may get caught and receive a traffic ticket. While traffic tickets can be a real annoyance, it is important to realize that you do have options. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions Dallas County residents have about traffic tickets:

When is it a good time to hire a traffic ticket attorney?

As soon as you receive a traffic ticket, you should immediately pick up the phone and schedule an appointment to meet with a Dallas County traffic ticket attorney. You do want to wait. For certain matters, if you wait too long to request relief, that relief may no longer be available to you. A Dallas County traffic attorney can help you with traffic tickets you received for reckless driving, failure to stop at a stop sign or red light, distracted driving, driving on a revoked or suspended license.

Any attorney can help me with a traffic ticket, right?

While it is true that any licensed attorney in the State of Texas can represent a client on a traffic matter, it would not be wise to hire just any attorney. The best approach to traffic tickets is to seek out and hire an experienced Texas traffic law attorney. This is because only a veteran Dallas traffic law attorney has the necessary experience to handle your traffic matter efficiently and cost effectively. Quality representation will also help you maintain your driving record and keep you insurance premiums down.

Why should I hire an attorney for a speeding ticket?

People who receive speeding tickets are often unaware that they have another option than to just pay the fine and move on. When a person pays the fine, he or she is pleading guilty to the charges. This means that he or she will receive points on his or license. He or she may also have his or her insurance rates increase. When an auto insurance company sees that a motorist has a speeding ticket they may increase his or her rates because he or she is seen as not as good of a driver, and as such a higher risk.

What will happen if I just ignore the traffic ticket?

Ignoring a traffic is the worst thing a person can do. Serious penalties can ensue, especially if a person accumulates several unpaid traffic tickets. For example a warrant could be issued for your arrest or you could go to jail. Even if you are fortunate to miss the warrant and jail, you will probably pay more for the ticket than had you paid the ticket on time!

If you have received a ticket for a moving violation or other traffic offense, do not think that your only option is to just pay the ticket. With more than 30 years of experience, attorney Jack Pettit can help prevent a traffic ticket from damaging your driving record and raising your car insurance rate. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with Jack Pettit call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. The only way to find out if Dallas Country Traffic Ticket Defense Lawyer Jack Pettit can help you with your traffic matter is to schedule an appointment. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

No-Refusal Planned for this Holiday Season in at Least Two Texas Counties

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Many people consider the holiday season to start the day after Thanksgiving. While others take the view that the Christmas tree goes up as soon as Halloween decorations come down. Whatever your definition of when the holiday season begins, one thing will be the same. This holiday season, the police in Dallas and Tarrant counties will be out in full force. Their mission is to increase enforcement for those individuals who choose to drink and drive.

According to The Dallas Morning News, in 2013 there were 49 alcohol-related automobile fatalities in Dallas County alone and another 24 fatalities in Tarrant County. The police from both counties hope that their announcement will deter people from driving drunk. The plan for both counties, includes a “no-refusal” policy.

What is a “no-refusal” policy?

Under Texas law, if a motorist is pulled over by a police officer on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, he or she can refuse to take an alcohol breath test (or more commonly known as a Breathalyzer test). In other words, unlike other states, it is not a separate crime for a motorist to refuse to submit to testing (although, a motorist who refuses to voluntarily submit to a breath or blood test may have his or her license suspended for a period of at least 180 days).

The breath test is used as evidence against the motorist to show that he or she did indeed have a blood alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of .08% at the time of the traffic stop. Without the breath test results, it is more difficult for a prosecutor to prove that the motorist guilty of DWI.

However, from time to time in Texas, different counties have what are known as “no-refusal” periods. During these periods, a motorist suspected of DWI does not have the right to refuse to submit to alcohol testing. If a motorist does refuse, the officer can seek a warrant which allows the police officer the right to take the motorist to a local hospital or clinic so that a nurse can draw the motorist’s blood for testing.

The no-refusal policy is law enforcement’s way of circumventing the motorist who refuses to voluntarily submit to a breath or blood test. No-refusal periods are most common in Texas during holiday weekends, such as Memorial Day or Labor Day weekend. During these no-refusal periods, judges, nurses, lab staff and prosecutors are available to police 24 hours a day.

What does a no-refusal period mean for motorists arrested for DWI this holiday season?

While the prosecutor’s job is made much easier by having blood samples or breath tests for all motorists arrested for DWI this holiday season, it does not mean they will win each case. There are many steps involved along the way where police officers can make mistakes or blood samples and breath tests results can be found to be inaccurate. This is why it is so important to consult with an experienced Dallas County DWI attorney who can determine what defenses you may have to charges against you.

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving this holiday season the first thing you need to do is schedule an appointment to speak with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney who can explain your rights. Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County for more than 30 years. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit knows how to fight a DWI charge. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

Tips to Have a Safe and DWI-Free Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

It seems that even before the last bite of turkey is gobbled up, the holiday season is in full swing. Christmas parties, holiday get-togethers, and all sorts of merrymaking begin to fill one’s social calendar. While it is a great time to have fun with friends and family members, it also a time not to forget your common sense. The police will be out in high numbers this holiday season, specifically looking for those individuals who have had “too much fun” and are out and about on the road. To make sure that you have a safe and DWI-free holiday season, follow these important tips:

  • Do not drink and drive: If you have been drinking and think that there is any chance that your blood alcohol level is near the legal limit, do not drive. Do not make the mistake of hoping that you will be okay. You have too much to lose including your driver’s license and possibly your life or someone else’s life. If you plan to drink, then early in the evening hand over your keys, so that you will not be tempted to drive.
  • Watch your alcohol intake: If you plan to drive home after an evening out, make sure you closely monitor your alcohol consumption. Do not drink in excess! Be smart and have at the very most one drink an hour. This is the amount of time it generally takes for a drink to clear one’s system. A drink is considered to be a 5 oz. glass of wine, a regular 12 oz. beer, or a 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits. Be wary of any mixed drinks or a drink where you cannot easily ascertain how much alcohol the drink contains.  Also be sure to drink plenty of water when drinking alcohol, as it helps to mitigate the effects of alcohol-related dehydration on the body.
  • Call a cab: If you realize that you should not drive, call a cab. While paying for a cab can be pricey, it is far less expensive than a DWI. When you add up the costs for attorney’s fees, bonding fees, fines and court costs, the price of a cab ride home is a real bargain. Even if you took a limo home, it would be far cheaper than a DWI.

Do not worry about your car: Sometimes people who choose to drink and drive do so, even though they know they should not, because they are worried about their car. Maybe the car is parked in a parking garage or on the street where overnight parking is not allowed. Again, the cost of a parking ticket is far less than a DWI. Even if you have to pay a fine because your car was towed and have to go through the hassle of finding your car the next day –  all this hassle is far less than the havoc a DWI can wreak on your life. With a DWI you will most likely have your license suspended for at least 90 to 180 days. Not having a car for three to six months will not only be annoying, it may also cost you your job.

Being arrested and charged with drunk driving over the holidays can feel devastating. That is why it is important to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Only a veteran DWI Defense Attorney can investigate the charges against you and challenge any mistakes made. Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County for more than 30 years. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit understands what it takes to fight DWI charges. Call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

What Not to do if You Have Been Arrested for a DUI

Saturday, November 1st, 2014

Being arrested for DWI can make a person feel a lot of different emotions all at once. It is not uncommon to feel angry, disappointed or just plain dumbfounded by the entire situation. But once a person is arrested, there is nothing he or she can do. In other words, there is nothing a person can say or do to become “un-arrested.” That being said, there are a lot of things a person can say or do that can make the situation a whole lot worse. If you are arrested for DWI in Texas, be smart and do not make any of the following mistakes:

  • Talk:  Once the police officer reads you your rights, otherwise known as Miranda warning, it is time to zip your lips and keep them closed. At this point, nothing you can say can help better your situation. Rather, anything you say (or do) per the warning, can and will be used against you.
  • Resist Arrest: Even if you believe that the officer has no right to arrest and charge you with DWI, it does not matter. Resisting arrest will only make matters worse. If a person resists arrest, the officer can also charge the person with resisting arrest.
  • Handle your own case:  A DWI is a serious charge that has pretty severe consequences if found guilty. Penalties include fines, possible jail time, and a temporary loss of driving privileges. When you hire an experienced DWI defense attorney you greatly increase the likelihood that the charges against you will be reduced or even possibly eliminated.
  • Take “legal” advice from friends/family members:  Once you have been charged with a DWI, you may start to receive a lot of free “legal” advice from friends and/or family members who have had a DWI or other encounter with the criminal justice system. While most of these people are well-meaning, it is important to remember that they are not experienced DWI defense attorneys. Even if a person’s case sounds similar to yours, most likely there are important facts that separate his or her case from your own.
  • Wait too long to hire a DWI defense attorney:  You want to meet with an experienced DWI defense attorney as soon as possible so that you can tell him or her your story, while the events are still fresh in your mind. By waiting, you may forget critical details.
  • Drive without a valid license: When a person is arrested for DWI he or she will most often lose his or her driving privileges for a period of time. Driving without a valid license, especially while the DWI charges are pending is a big NO NO!!
  • Blow off a court appearance:  So your driver’s license is suspended and you cannot find a ride to court. You think missing one court date is no big deal, right? Wrong! Blowing off a court appearance sends a clear message to the judge hearing your case that you are not taking the charges against you seriously. By failing to appear in court, the judge can also order an arrest warrant against you.

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned DWI Defense Attorney can explain your rights and answer your questions. Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has thorough knowledge of DWI law and the skills to investigate the facts of your case. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit knows what it takes to fight a charge of DWI. Call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish.  Major credit cards are accepted as well.