Archive for October, 2015

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Explains why All DWI Defendants Need an Attorney

Saturday, October 31st, 2015

If you’ve been charged with DWI, you may wonder whether you should seek the assistance of an attorney. The answer is, without a doubt, yes. Any DWI charge, whether it is your first or a subsequent offense, can have serious consequences. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you in multiple ways during your DWI case, and they can help you to obtain the best possible outcome under the unique circumstances of your case.

One way in which a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you with your DWI case is by attending to your paperwork. This may seem like a minor point, but a DWI case does involve more paperwork than you might expect. If you are not represented by an attorney, you must obtain, read, understand, complete, and file all of your own paperwork in accordance with the applicable deadlines. Errors in understanding DWI case paperwork or in filling it out and filing it in a timely manner could harm your DWI case.

Another reason why it is important to seek the aid of an experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney is that a DWI case passes through a series of stages from beginning to end. Participating in a DWI case as a defendant can be confusing and frustrating if you do not know what to expect at each stage of the process. Fortunately, when you work with a Texas DWI Defense Attorney, they can help you understand the sequence of events that is likely to occur in your DWI case, so that you can be prepared for the experience.

The crime of driving under the influence of alcohol involves multiple elements, each of which must be proven before you can be convicted of DWI. Your Texas DWI Defense Attorney knows each of the elements of DWI inside and out. They have experience with identifying situations in which the state may not be able to meet its burden of proof in its case against you. An experienced DWI Defense Attorney has more than likely represented many clients in situations that are similar to yours, and that experience will help them to build a solid defense on your behalf.

Another reason to get help from a Texas DWI Defense Attorney is that as a DWI defendant, you might have options available to you that could possibly help you to avoid conviction, and all of the devastating consequences that come along with it. Your attorney can explain options like diversion, plea bargaining, or dismissal if they are available in your case. They can also help you decide whether any of the options that are available to you are a good choice for you, given your priorities and the possible consequences of each potential course of action.

Now that you know why all DWI defendants need an attorney, it is time for you to choose the attorney who will represent you in your Texas DWI case.  Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has been serving Dallas area DWI clients for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Offers Tips for Handling Traffic Stops

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

While each DWI arrest is unique, most of them have one thing in common: they started out as traffic stops. Whether you were aware that there was something about your car or how you were driving that would have made you a likely target for a traffic stop or not, it is likely that you were at least somewhat surprised when you saw the flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror.

Whenever anyone is stopped by the police, it is natural for them to wonder what will happen during the traffic stop. Some people like to think on the bright side, that perhaps the officer simply wanted to alert them to a burnt out tail light or give them a warning and ask them to slow down. Other people focus more on how much time the traffic stop could possibly take, especially if they are on the way to work or some other time-sensitive event. If you are in a hurry, it can seem like it takes the officer a very long time to go to their vehicle to check up on your license and registration. Some people fear the worst, perhaps even that they might be investigated for DWI.

Whatever it is that you are thinking about during a traffic stop, it is also a good idea to set those thoughts aside and focus on how you plan to handle the situation. There are actually things that you can do which could make the difference between it being an ordinary traffic stop and it turning into a lengthy investigation that could possibly end with your arrest.

The law enforcement officer that pulled you over was observing your vehicle before they stopped you. Now that you are pulled over, they have a chance to observe you and interact with you. Your interactions with them as well as their observations of you could play a large role in determining the eventual outcome of the traffic stop. For example, the officer may ask you where you are going. Please do not mistake this question for an attempt to initiate small talk. Every question that the officer asks is asked for a reason, and often that reason is to elicit information from you that they could use to support further investigation of your vehicle and your person. As hard as it may be to believe this, you are not actually under any obligation to tell the officer where you are going, or to answer any of their other questions, for that matter. You can maintain a calm and respectful demeanor while saying very little about anything of substance, and while providing your vehicle registration, driver’s license, proof of insurance, or other documents that are requested of you. Some officers do not like it when drivers don’t answer questions, and they try to intimidate drivers into saying more than they should. If this happens, remain calm and politely tell the officer that you wish to consult with your attorney.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has been serving Dallas area DWI clients for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Offers Advice to First-Time DWI Defendants

Friday, October 16th, 2015

If you have never been charged with DWI, you have probably never thought much about DWI defense. However, since any driver is at risk of being charged with DWI any time they drive anywhere, whether or not they are intoxicated, it is a good for drivers to know what to do if they are charged with driving while intoxicated.

Perhaps the most important thing that drivers should know about DWI charges is that they should get help from a DWI defense attorney as soon after their arrest as is possible. The sooner you get an attorney the better, because criminal charges like DWI can have far-reaching effects on your day to day life for an extended period of time, even if you are not convicted. You have rights, and your DWI defense attorney can work to protect them. Your attorney can also help you understand the charges that have been brought against you. Perhaps even more importantly, your attorney can look at the facts of your case and formulate a defense strategy that they may be able to use to get the charges against you dismissed or your penalties reduced. In some cases, this means that the attorney speaks with the prosecutor to pursue a plea bargain, or some other alternative to a trial. Once your attorney has an idea of which defense strategies they may be able to implement in your DWI case, they can help you understand your options.

If you are a first-time DWI defendant, you may be wondering how you will find the DWI defense attorney that is right for you. It is a good idea to speak with a few experienced DWI defense attorneys about your case, and choose the attorney that you feel the most comfortable with. It is essential that the attorney that you choose be experienced in handling DWI defense cases, because a thorough knowledge of the laws that deal with DWI and experience with presenting defenses against DWI charges for various clients in different sets of circumstances increases your chance of obtaining the best possible outcome in your DWI case.

First-time DWI defendants should also know the difference between a public defender and private counsel, because they may qualify for the services of a public defender. A public defender is an attorney who is paid by the state to provide legal assistance to defendants who cannot afford private attorneys. However, even if you qualify for representation by a public defender, you may want to try to gather the necessary resources to retain private counsel. The reason for this is that unfortunately, public defenders have much less control over their case load than private counsel do so many of them have very large caseloads, which translates into very little time for them to devote to each of their cases.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has been serving Dallas area DWI clients for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks about Intoxication Assault and Intoxication Manslaughter

Friday, October 9th, 2015

An automobile wreck that occurred in August may give rise to an intoxication manslaughter charge against a driver who has been convicted of DWI twice and who was recently indicted on a third DWI charge. The driver was originally charged with intoxication assault, but a man who was injured in the August crash has died, so the charge against the driver could be enhanced to intoxication manslaughter.

When the driver was arrested for his third DWI in January of this year, the court had ordered that he drive a vehicle that was equipped with an ignition interlock device. When the driver was involved in the accident in August, he was driving a vehicle that did not have the court-ordered ignition interlock device on it.

Any DWI arrest can have serious consequences for the defendant, especially if they are later convicted of driving while intoxicated. There may be even more serious consequences for any driver who gets into an automobile accident while they are driving under the influence of alcohol, especially if anyone is injured in the crash or if anyone dies during the crash or later on as the result of injuries that they sustained in the wreck. Among the possible consequences that a driver may face if they get into an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol are charges of intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter. It is important that drivers understand these charges, so that they can more fully understand the full extent of what could possibly happen if they drive while intoxicated.

The crimes of intoxication assault and intoxication manslaughter are described in Title 10 of the Texas Penal Code. Intoxication assault is described in Sec. 49.07 as occurring when a person, either by accident or mistake, causes serious bodily injury while they are driving a vehicle or operating an aircraft, amusement ride, or watercraft while intoxicated. Intoxication assault is a third degree felony, and it is punishable by a fine of up to ten thousand dollars and a sentence of two to ten years in prison.

Sec. 49.08 of the Texas Penal Code describes intoxication manslaughter as occurring when a person, either by accident or by mistake, causes the death of another person because they were driving a vehicle or operating an aircraft, amusement ride, or watercraft while intoxicated. Intoxication manslaughter is a second degree felony, and it is punishable by a sentence of two to ten years in prison and a fine of up to ten thousand dollars.

Any DWI can have serious consequences, and there is even more at stake if you are facing additional charges like intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter. An experienced Texas DWI Defense Attorney can protect your rights and provide you with the comprehensive legal support that you need during this difficult time. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been serving Dallas area DWI clients for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.