Archive for September, 2015

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses a Recent Texas Mistrial

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A Texas judge recently declared a mistrial in a misdemeanor DWI case after the prosecution showed the jury the defendant’s criminal history for a few seconds. The mistake happened when the prosecutor was switching between programs on his computer so that he could play dashboard camera video footage for the jury. The prosecutor claims that the exposure of the defendant’s criminal record was unintentional, but, nonetheless, the jury saw information that they were not supposed to see. Not only that, but the defendant’s criminal record contains a prior DWI conviction, so the potential for that information to prejudice the jury was great.

If you have been charged with a crime or If you know someone who has been charged with a crime, you are likely to want to know what a mistrial is. When a judge declares a mistrial, it simply means that the trial did not result in a decision for guilt or innocence. This can happen for a few different reasons. First, if the jury cannot reach an unanimous verdict, there is no decision about whether the defendant committed the crime for not. Because there has been no ruling of guilt or innocence, the judge can declare a mistrial. The judge can also declare a mistrial during the trial if one side violates certain rules of evidence. This is what happened in the aforementioned example. Revealing information about the defendant’s criminal record violates the rules of evidentiary procedure. There are many rules of evidentiary procedure, and a Texas DWI defense attorney can help you by ensuring that all of your evidence is presented properly at trial. One final note on mistrials is that when a trial ends in a mistrial, the state may usually try the defendant again. Retrial does not always happen though, because sometimes a mistrial shows the State that they have a weak case, and the state may choose to dismiss the charges.

In this particular misdemeanor DWI case, the jury was only supposed to issue a ruling on whether, after seeing all of the evidence, they felt that the defendant was guilty or innocent. In the event that the jury had found him guilty, a judge would have sentenced him appropriately. Interestingly enough, this was the second time that this defendant’s trial has ended in a mistrial.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit – Strong Representation When You need it most

DWI charges can have a widespread impact on your life. From your physical liberty to your driving privileges, gun rights, eligibility for public assistance, family life and more, there is so much at stake. When you have that much on the line, it is important to get help from someone who can help you to resolve your case with the fewest possible negative consequences. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has been serving clients in the Dallas area for more than thirty years, and he has a great deal of experience in handling DWI cases. Call today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses the Implications of Getting a DWI with a Child Passenger

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

A man was recently arrested for DWI in Odessa after he flagged down officers, stuck his head out the window of his vehicle, and then spoke to the officers in a heavily slurred voice. The man admitted to having taken speed, and he was arrested. However, driving under the influence of drugs was not the only thing that he had been doing at the time of his arrest. He was also driving under the influence of drugs with a two year old child in the back seat of his vehicle. After the man was arrested, Child Protective Services was notified. The child who had been in the vehicle was released to a family member.

DWI with a child passenger is a different offense than DWI. Driving while intoxicated with one or more passengers in your vehicle who are under fifteen years of age is a state jail felony in Texas. The consequences of DWI with a child passenger include one hundred and eighty days to two years in a state jail and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars. Other possible penalties that could be imposed upon an individual who is convicted of DWI with a child passenger are ineligibility for certain types of government assistance, inability to vote or hold public office, loss of gun ownership and possession rights, and disqualification from certain professions.

However serious the aforementioned consequences are, they just the beginning of the ways in which a DWI with a child passenger could affect your life. Perhaps the most painful consequences associated with DWI with a child passenger are those that affect the driver’s home and family life. If a driver is charged with DWI with a child passenger, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services can remove the child from their custody and pursue a child endangerment case against them. Losing custody of a child to the Department of Family and Protective Services, even if it ends up being only on a temporary basis while the situation is investigated, is a parent’s worst nightmare. Even when the child is released into the care of a family member, the situation is likely to be frightening and upsetting to them. Families who are separated due to the involvement of the Department of Family and Protective Services often face a long and difficult road back to being together under one roof.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit – Supporting Texans Who Have Been Charged With DWI

If you have been charged with DWI with a child passenger or any other type of DWI offense, it is imperative that you speak with an attorney right away so that your rights can be protected. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing high quality DWI defense services to his clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more about how he may be able to help you with your Texas DWI case.

Texas DWI Defense Lawyer Explains ALR Hearings

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Did you know that being charged with DWI in Texas involves two separate legal proceedings? You are probably already aware that criminal proceedings are brought against drivers who are arrested for DWI. There is also a civil proceeding that follows DWI arrests, and it is called the Administrative Law Review (ALR) proceeding. These proceedings are brought against drivers who refuse blood or breath testing, as well as drivers who participate in and fail the tests. Drivers who are unaware of the ALR hearing aspect of their Texas DWI cases are at risk for losing their driving privileges, because a driver only has fifteen days from the date of their DWI arrest to request an ALR hearing and thereby preserve their chance at retaining their driving privileges.

Sometimes, the way in which an arresting officer describes the license suspension process might make it difficult for a driver to understand when and how their license suspension would take effect, as well as what their options are for contesting the suspension. For example, the arresting officer might tell a driver that their driver’s license will be suspended immediately upon their refusal to participate in blood or breath testing, instead of saying that such a refusal will result in automatic suspension if an ALR hearing is not timely requested.

When a driver requests an ALR hearing and a hearing is granted, that hearing has a very limited purpose – to give the judge information that they can use to issue an order deciding the issue of license suspension. At the ALR hearing, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will attempt to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that your license should be suspended because blood or breath testing indicated that you had a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater when you were arrested, or because you refused to submit to blood or breath testing after being told what could happen is you refuse to take the tests. In order to counter the evidence that the DPS presents at an ALR hearing, the driver’s attorney presents evidence that tends to show that their license should not be suspended because one or both of the requirements for license suspension were not met.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit – Protecting the Rights of Texans Accused of Drunk Driving

Requesting an ALR hearing allows you to contest the proposed suspension of your driver’s license. With something as important as your driving privileges at stake, it is essential that you have someone on your side that is familiar with the ALR hearing process and knows how to present a compelling case on your behalf. Since drivers have only fifteen days after their arrest to request an ALR hearing, it is important that you contact a Texas DWI Defense Lawyer immediately after you are arrested so that your attorney can timely file your hearing request. If you have questions about a Texas DWI case, call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law today at 214-521-4567.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Explains the Important Role of DWI Attorneys

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

If you have been arrested for DWI in Texas, you may be wondering whether or not you should contact a DWI defense attorney and ask them to help you with your case. One way that potential clients can come to understand the importance of hiring a DWI defense attorney is to learn what an attorney could do for you if you were to retain them as well as the possible results of proceeding with your case without the aid of an attorney.

Defendants in DWI cases face a wide range of consequences if they are convicted. From license suspension to jail time, fines, ignition interlock devices, high insurance rates, and more, it may seem as if your DWI charges could end up affecting just about everything in your life. Your DWI defense attorney has spent a great deal of time helping clients facing similar consequences challenge the validity of the charges that have been brought against them. They have also spent time seeking outcomes in their clients’ cases which minimize overall impact of each client’s DWI on their life, in light of their situation and their priorities.

Texas DWI defendants sometimes choose to handle their DWI defense cases on their own, without an attorney. What many of them do not realize is that although it costs money to hire an attorney, the overall financial and personal cost of a DWI can be greatly reduced by doing so. Hiring a Texas DWI defense attorney gives you a better chance of resolving your DWI case in a manner that will have the least amount of negative consequences that is possible given the unique circumstances of your case.

One of the most important things that a DWI defense attorney does is help their clients understand the charges that have been brought against them. There are a variety of different charges that may have been brought against you, depending upon your age, your BAC, and the circumstances of your arrest. It is important that you know what the possible consequences associated with those charges are, as well as how the validity of those charges might be challenged. Your attorney can help you with that, too, by explaining the defense strategies which might be effective in your case. Also, throughout a DWI case, a DWI defendant may be presented with options for resolving their case. DWI defense attorneys help their clients evaluate any options that are made available to them, so that the clients can understand what their life might look like if they choose to resolve their DWI case in a particular manner.

If you need to be able to continue driving after your DWI arrest in order to keep your job attend college, fulfill your duties as a parent, or for some other reason, your DWI defense attorney can help you do that by representing you at your administrative license suspension (ALR) hearing. A driver who wants to retain their driving privileges must request an ALR hearing within a specific period of time after their arrest, so it is important to speak with an attorney right away to ensure that your request for an ALR hearing is timely filed.

If you are facing DWI charges in Texas, contact Texas DWI Defense Attorney, Jack Pettit, as soon as possible, as time is of the essence.  He has been compassionately serving Dallas area DWI clients for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.