Archive for December, 2015

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Says No Refusal DWI Enforcement is in Effect through New Year’s

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

In Texas, when a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, they are usually allowed to refuse to participate in roadside breath testing. Unfortunately, at certain times of the year in some counties, a no refusal rule is in effect for DWI traffic stops. No refusal policies are often associated with holidays, and counties across Texas are conducting a no refusal holiday from now through the end of the year.

In the places where the no refusal rule is in effect, when a driver who is suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol is stopped by law enforcement officers and refuses to take a breathalyzer test, the police can immediately obtain a warrant to draw their blood and test it for alcohol. Any driver whose blood alcohol content is found to be above the legal limit goes straight to jail.

The no refusal policy may seem intimidating, and it does enable law enforcement officers to take blood from drivers against their will. Fortunately, the no refusal policy does not affect some of the other have rights that you have during a traffic stop. For example, you still have the right to say as little as you would like in response to questions regarding where you have been, where you are going, and whether you have been drinking. This includes refusing to answer the questions. You are also free to refuse to perform field sobriety tests, and to decline to give the police permission to search your car.

Exercising your rights during a no refusal traffic stop can prevent the law enforcement officer from collecting important information from you. A blood test result is just one type of information that the prosecution can use to support a finding that you were driving under the influence of alcohol. The less other information you give the law enforcement officer about you, the less evidence they will have to support a finding that you were driving under the influence of alcohol.

In addition to supplying as little information as possible to law enforcement officers, there is something else that you can do to give yourself a better chance of avoiding a DWI. Contact a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away, so that you can have the legal support that you need during your DWI case. There are ways to challenge the validity of certain types of information that the prosecution may have, such as a blood test result. From problems with the warrant to mishandling of the sample at or on the way to the lab, there are plenty of opportunities for things to occur that could result in the result of your blood test being excluded from evidence.

The no refusal rule that is periodically in effect in some Texas counties is inconvenient, to say the least. However, if you are pulled over during a no refusal effort, remember that you blood test result is not a slam dunk conviction for the prosecution. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you fight back against DWI charges. To lean more, please call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today, at 214-521-4567.

 

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About Retesting Blood Samples

Saturday, December 26th, 2015

Sometimes, it is helpful to question the accuracy of certain types of physical evidence. Prosecutors often rely on blood or breathalyzer test results in DWI cases. The accuracy of breathalyzer test results can be called into question for a number of reasons, including user error. It is also possible to question the accuracy of blood test results. The practice of retesting blood samples in DWI cases is becoming more and more popular among defense counsel in light of reports of cases in which large discrepancies have been found between blood alcohol content of the original test result and the blood alcohol content found during a subsequent test of the same sample.

For example, one defendant was determined to have had a blood alcohol level of .208 when her blood was tested at a Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab. When the blood sample was retested by a Medical Examiner’s office, the test returned a result of .11. The large difference between the two test results is not something that can simply be explained away by the size of the sample or the degradation of it over time. The difference between those two test results is so large that it creates three important issues. One issue is the question of which test got the correct result. It is difficult to have confidence in either result since they are so far apart. Another issue is that the discrepancy between the test results could be indicative of an error, such as mishandling the sample. The third and perhaps the most important issue is that one test result would place the defendant’s blood alcohol level at twice the legal limit, making her eligible for harsher penalties than she could receive with the other test result, which is slightly over the legal limit.

It is important to remember that the aforementioned defendant’s case is just one example of a growing number of cases in which the accuracy of a blood alcohol test case was questioned. Two other examples of incidents involving concerns about the accuracy of blood tests in DWI cases relate to the accidental switching of blood samples at a Texas DPS crime lab. Those mistakes resulted in incorrect test results being attributed to two DWI defendants.

The increase in the number of DWI cases involving inconsistencies between original blood test results and results that are obtained after retesting the defendant’s blood sample create many important questions regarding the accuracy of DWI blood tests. If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, you may wonder whether the blood test result in your case is accurate. Sending your blood sample to another lab for retesting is one of many strategies that DWI defense attorneys use to question the accuracy of the prosecution’s evidence. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you present a strong defense against DWI charges. Call the office of Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Shares Questions That Clients Should Ask Their Potential DWI Lawyer

Friday, December 11th, 2015

If you have been charged with DWI, you may be in a hurry to speak with a Texas DWI defense attorney about your case. It is a good idea to seek legal counsel as soon after your arrest as you possibly can, but it is equally as important that you select the DWI defense attorney who is the best fit for your case and for you, the client. The following few questions can help you to get a good idea about whether the DWI defense attorney that you are speaking with is the one that you would like to retain for your DWI case.

When you call a law office to arrange for a consultation, you may speak with the attorney or you may speak with someone else who works in their office. Fortunately, it is possible to get a good amount of information about the attorney that you are interested in from their office staff or another attorney who works in the office. Whomever you speak with may ask you questions about you case so that they can better help you. For that reason, it is important that you have all of your paperwork related to your DWI close by where you can refer to it as needed throughout the conversation.

One important question to ask a DWI attorney before you retain them is how much experience they have in handling DWI cases. The more experience an attorney has with the type of case that you have, the better. Experienced attorneys have a deep and thorough knowledge of how DWI cases work, and of how to build solid defense strategies for defendants with many different types of DWI cases. You might also ask how much of their time they spend working on DWI cases, as handling DWI cases on a regular basis is a good way to keep legal knowledge current and skills sharp.

Once you have shared some information about your case with the attorney, be sure to ask them whether they feel as though you have a strong case. The attorney will explain how your case could possibly play out, based upon the information that you have shared with them. This part of your conversation is also a good time to ask the attorney what options you might have for resolving your DWI case. Sometimes, options like pleading guilty or engaging in diversion are likely to bring a better result than going to trial, so let the attorney explain the possibilities that may be available to you in your particular case.

No initial consultation with an attorney is complete without a discussion of their fee structure and payment options. Be sure that you thoroughly understand what you would need to pay for and when. While you may want to get things going right away, you may also need a little time to think about whether that particular attorney is the one that you will retain to handle your case. Either way, remember that an attorney does not represent you until you have signed a fee agreement with them.

If you have been charged with DWI in Texas, give yourself a fighting chance at a positive outcome in your case by calling a Texas DWI Defense Attorney.  Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, may be able to help you. Call our office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

 

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Offers Tips on Avoiding Traffic Stops

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Every driver probably wants to know as much as they can about how they can avoid getting pulled over by the police. Drivers who want to avoid getting a DWI are likely to be especially interested in reducing the likelihood of a traffic stop. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to reduce the likelihood that you will be pulled over by the police during any given vehicle trip that you take.

It is essential that you avoid making erratic maneuvers like turning too sharply or too wide or driving too fast or too slow if you do not want to be pulled over. Erratic movements get the attention of police officers, and while one unusual turn may not end with you getting pulled over right away, it may result in the officer following you for as long as they have to as they wait for you to make another sharp or wide turn, or do something else that they feel is grounds for stopping you.

Obeying posted speed limits is another way that drivers can avoid getting pulled over. Law enforcement officers know that issuing speeding tickets actually does get drivers to slow down, which increases safety on the roads for everyone. Because of that, they place a high priority on stopping drivers who are moving too fast.

When you engage in distracted driving of any kind, whether you are eating, texting, or rummaging around between the seats trying to find something, you make yourself a target for a traffic stop. Texting while driving in particular has attracted the attention of law enforcement officers across America, and for good reason. It is extremely dangerous. Keeping your hands off of your phone and other items will help keep the eyes of police officers off of you.

Tinted windows, loud exhaust pipes, expired license plate tags, burned out bulbs and other equipment offenses are easy for officers to see. This also means that they are also easy for them to take action on, and they do so frequently. Check your vehicle regularly to make sure things look and sound okay, and to identify potential issues before the police do.

Aggressive driving is another way to grab the attention of the police. From tailgating to cutting people off, hanging out in the left lane, and racing out of stop signs or traffic lights, aggressive driving is sure to get you pulled over sooner or later because it creates a safety risk.

A DWI case begins with a traffic stop, so knowing how to avoid getting pulled over is a key factor in avoiding DWI charges. If you do your best to drive in a way that does not get the attention of the police and you still get pulled over and investigated for DWI, call a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, is here to help you. Please call our office today, at 214-521-4567, to learn more.