Archive for August, 2016

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Want You to Know About ALR

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

If you have never faced DWI charges in Texas, you may not know that it involves two types of legal proceedings. As in other states, drivers who get arrested for operating vehicles while they are intoxicated face criminal charges. In Texas, though, individuals arrested for DWI also face civil proceedings after their arrests. These proceedings are entirely separate from your criminal DWI case. The civil proceeding that follows a DWI arrest is called Administrative License Revocation (ALR). Drivers who do not know about ALR could lose their driving privileges as the result of their lack of awareness that they must request a hearing within fifteen days of their DWI arrest if they want to retain their driving privileges.

It is essential that drivers know about ALR before they get arrested because it is not always explained clearly during the DWI arrest process. Sometimes, the arresting officer describes the license suspension process in such a way that the driver does not understand that their driving privileges are in danger, when and how their license suspension would take effect, or that they have options for contesting the suspension. The outcome of the ALR process may be that your driver’s license is suspended for a length of time anywhere from ninety days to two years. If you have your CDL, you may also end up with an automatic one-year disqualification as the result of the ALR process.

During your traffic stop, if the law enforcement officer asks you to take a breath or blood test and you either refuse to take it or take it and fail it, you will be served notice that your driver’s license will be suspended. Once you receive that notice, you only have fifteen days to request an ALR hearing. If you do not request a hearing before the fifteen days are up, your license suspension will be set to go into effect on the fortieth day from the date of the notice. If you do request a hearing, know that that hearing has a very limited purpose – to provide the Administrative Law Judge with the information that they need to issue an order stating their decision the matter of your license suspension.

At your ALR hearing, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will attempt to prove that your driver’s license should be suspended because you either had a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater at the time of your arrest or because you refused to submit to blood or breath testing. Since it is a hearing, you have the opportunity to counter the DPS’s evidence. Your attorney will present any available evidence that would tend to show the judge that your license should not be suspended. After your hearing is over, the judge will issue a final, appealable decision and order. If the judge finds that DPS has proven its case, the order will authorize license suspension. Conversely, if the judge decides that DPS has not proven its case, your license will not be suspended.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit – Support for Texas DWI Defendants

Requesting an ALR hearing allows you to contest the proposed suspension of your driver’s license. Since you only have fifteen days to request an ALR hearing, it is important that you contact a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. Call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law today at 214-521-4567.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About Traffic Stops

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Texas Rangers relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress was recently arrested and charged with DWI. His arrest started like every other DWI arrest – with a traffic stop. The stop occurred after the vehicle that he was driving cut off another driver as it switched lanes without signaling. A law enforcement officer stopped the vehicle, and the traffic stop began. During the stop, the officer noticed that Jeffress had bloodshot eyes. The officer could also smell alcohol on Jeffress’ breath. When the officer requested Jeffress’ driver’s license and proof of insurance, Jeffress handed the items over. He also gave the officer a Texas Rangers club card that indicates that he plays for the team. During the stop, Jeffress told the officer that he had consumed three or four cups of Hennessy and Coke and that he had consumed them between 12:15 a.m. and 1:15 a.m. There was a woman in the vehicle, and he told the officer that he was driving her from the nightclub Sisu to her car.

The officer asked Jeffress to get out of his vehicle and participate in a field sobriety test. During the test, the officer observed several things that led them to conclude that Jeffress was intoxicated. Some of these observations were that he could not balance on one leg and that he urinated on himself. After the test, officers searched Jeffress and his vehicle. During the search, officers found a bag containing a green leafy substance in the glove compartment. Jeffress and his passenger both denied ownership of it and he told officers that other people had been in his vehicle earlier that day.

Every DWI traffic stop is unique, but most of them have one thing in common – something about your car or the way that you were driving captured the attention of a law enforcement officer. In the situation described above, an officer saw the vehicle that Jeffress was driving cut in front of another vehicle without using a turn signal. Whenever you are driving and whatever you are doing, be aware that something might draw attention to your vehicle. However unsettling this is, if you see blue lights behind you, know that there are things that you can do which could make the difference between an ordinary traffic stop and a DWI investigation.

When your vehicle gets pulled over, law enforcement officers have a chance to observe you and interact with you. Those interactions and observations of you will determine the direction in which the traffic stop will proceed. Please know that you can make choices that could keep your traffic stop from turning into a DWI investigation. If the officer asks you where you are going, know that they are not trying to engage in small talk. Every question that they ask you serves a purpose – to obtain information from you that they could use to support further investigation. You may choose to say very little to the officer and give them as little information as possible beyond complying with requests to hand over your license, registration, and other items. You do not have to answer questions, although some officers may try to intimidate you into saying more than you have to. If that happens, remain calm while politely telling the officer that you need to consult with your attorney before speaking with them further.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, may be able to help you with your DWI case. Call our office at 214-521-4567 today to find out more.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Warns Drivers of Increased Focus on DWI Enforcement

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Did you know that law enforcement agencies throughout Texas have stepped up their focus on DWI enforcement? From August 19 through September 5, state and local law enforcement agencies plan to work overtime to find and prosecute drunk drivers. Right now, drivers currently have a higher than normal risk of being arrested for DWI. Because of this risk, drivers who have never been arrested for DWI need to learn about the DWI process in case they get arrested.

Perhaps the most important thing that you need to know about DWI charges is that you should seek the aid of a DWI defense attorney immediately after your arrest. Criminal charges like DWI can have far-reaching effects on your day to day life for a long time, even if you are not convicted, and you deserve the best possible chance at avoiding as many of those consequences as possible. Also, DWI defense attorneys look out for their clients’ rights and seek justice in cases where those rights are violated. Your DWI defense attorney will help you understand the charges that have been brought against you as well as the options for resolving your case.

If you are a first-time DWI defendant, you may wonder how to choose a DWI defense attorney. Begin by speaking with a few different DWI defense attorneys about your case, and choose one with whom you feel comfortable. It is essential that any attorney that you select be experienced in handling DWI defense cases. Working with an attorney who has a thorough knowledge of Texas DWI laws paired with experience in presenting defenses to DWI charges for a variety of clients increases your chance of obtaining a positive outcome in your DWI case.

First-time DWI defendants should also be aware of the difference between public defenders and private counsel. You may qualify for the services of a public defender, and you are free to choose to use their services or retain private counsel. A public defender is an attorney who is paid by the state to represent defendants who meet certain income guidelines. Some defendants who qualify for services of a public defender hire their own attorneys because public defenders have less control over their case loads than private attorneys do. Many public defenders have large caseloads which afford them little time for each of their cases.

If you were arrested for DWI, you are likely to have questions and concerns. You are probably well aware that there’s a lot at stake, including your driving privileges and your freedom. You probably want to do everything in your power to preserve the most important things in your life. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, can help you move through your DWI case towards an outcome that will work for you.  Texas DWI Defense Attorney Pettit has helped numerous Texas DWI clients with their DWI cases, and he can put his experience and dedication to work for you. To learn more, please call 214-521-4567 today.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Explains What a DWI Could Cost You

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Did you know that a DWI could cost you over ten thousand dollars along with other non-monetary yet tremendously important If you have never been arrested for DWI, you may be completely unaware that the cost of a DWI could be so high. Not only is there a great cost associated with a DWI, but the process of working through a DWI case takes time, and some consequences of the DWI continue long after the case is complete.

Drivers who get arrested for DWI face civil and criminal penalties. Administrative License Revocation (ALR) is the civil component of DWI. The penalties for ALR come into effect if you fail or refuse the breath test, and the penalties include 90 to 180 days of license suspension and a $125 license reinstatement fee when if it time to get your license back. You can try to avoid license suspension by requesting an ALR hearing, and it is a good idea to have a lawyer represent you at that hearing in addition to representing you in your criminal case. Of course, legal representation costs money, and costs do vary. It is important that DWI defendants choose to view legal fees not just as money spent on the DWI, but money invested in reducing the overall cost of the DWI, both financially and as far as concerns the effects of the DWI on their lives.

In the criminal portion of a DWI case, legal fees can cost a defendant anywhere from a few hundred dollars up to thousands of dollars, depending upon the attorney and the complexity of the case. However, this expense could lead to the reduction of other costs and non-monetary consequences because your attorney can do things like trying to get the charges dropped or reduced, plea bargaining, and otherwise seeking options for resolving your DWI case in a way that will work out as well for you as it can. Court fees are sometimes included with legal fees and sometimes paid separately. Typical court fees are between one hundred and sixty dollars and three hundred dollars. Videotapes and subpoenas cost money, but they may be necessary in your case.

There are some monetary and non-monetary costs that you might not expect. Texas charges DWI defendants a thousand dollars each year for three years after their DWI cases are closed. If injuries or damages resulted from your driving while intoxicated, you might have to pay restitution. Your car insurance rates may increase substantially. Probation lasts a year or two, and it requires time, effort, and money. Classes, counseling, and other programs must be paid for by the defendants who must engage in them. Some other indirect costs of a DWI include taking time off of work to go to court, the cost of transportation to and from work if you lose your driving privileges and the cost of installing an ignition interlock if you are required to do so.

Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has years of experience with DWI cases, and he has helped many DWI clients resolve their cases. He may be able to help you with your DWI case, too. Whether this is your first DWI or a subsequent offense, you deserve the support of a skilled Texas DWI Defense Attorney. Call us today, at 214-521-4567 today, to learn more.