Archive for September, 2016

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks about Subsequent DWIs

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Sometimes, a single DWI traffic stop is enough to cause a person to give up drinking and driving for good, even if they are never charged or convicted. Other drivers need a little more convincing and wait until after their second offense to stop drinking and driving. There are also some drivers who continue to drive under the influence of alcohol after multiple DWI convictions, encountering increasingly severe penalties with each additional offense.

Recently, a woman from Houston was sentenced to four years in prison after she pleaded guilty to her sixth felony DWI charge. The woman was stopped by law enforcement after her daughter, who was driving in a vehicle behind her, called the police to ask them to stop her mother because she was driving while intoxicated. When law enforcement officers stopped the woman’s car, they did find that she was intoxicated and they arrested her. When she was arrested, the woman was out on bond for two felony DWI charges.

The potential consequences of being convicted of DWI in Texas become more severe with each subsequent offense, as you can see from the four-year prison sentence that the woman mentioned above received for her sixth DWI. Most drivers will not ever be charged with their sixth DWI, but all drivers should understand what penalties they might be given if they are convicted of a first-time DWI or any type of subsequent offense.

Drivers who are convicted of a first offense DWI in Texas may be fined up to two thousand dollars. They could also have to spend between three days and one hundred and eighty days in jail. A first offense DWI can mean that your license gets suspended. Also, the Texas DWI laws recently changed, and first time DWI defendants could even be required to put ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.

Second offense DWI convictions in Texas can result in fines of up to four thousand dollars, and jail time of one month to one year. Second-time DWI offenders also face license suspension, a surcharge to reinstate their license after suspension, and the possibility of an ignition interlock requirement just like first-time offenders.

Third-time DWI offenders could be fined up to ten thousand dollars. They can also expect to spend between two and ten years in state prison, in addition to other penalties. The penalties that were described above refer solely to DWI charges. If certain other factors, such as child passengers or a car accident were present during an arrest, the driver may face additional penalties.

If you face any type of DWI charges in Texas, it is important that you understand the short term and long term effects that the charges could have on your life. A Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help you understand the charges, and they can help you put up your best defense against them. To learn more about how  Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, can help you, call us today at 214-521-4567.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses the Role of Toxicologists in DWI Cases

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

In Harris County, ten years’ worth of DWI cases are being reviewed by District Attorneys in light of questions regarding the qualifications of a lab tech within the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences. The woman whose qualifications are under scrutiny has resigned her position, but that does not fix the fact that she may have testified in some DWI cases without having the proper credentials to do so.

The problem with the woman’s credentials is that she has testified in at least some cases that she had obtained a different type of master’s degree than the degree that she actually earned. It is unknown how many cases, if any, were affected by the false testimony but that is the reason that so many cases are being reviewed. The review process will help attorneys who represented clients involved in those ten years’ worth of cases to determine whether any of the cases can be challenged.

If you are a DWI defendant, you may wonder why the truth of a toxicologist’s testimony about their degree makes a difference in a DWI case. It matters because telling the truth matters and, perhaps even more importantly because scientific evidence plays a significant role in DWI cases. Because scientific evidence plays a prominent role in DWI cases, it is essential that any expert witness who testifies regarding toxicology reports or any other scientific subject matter know what they are talking about.

In DWI cases, toxicologists present information regarding the results of blood and breath tests. The tests must be performed according to specific methods, which the person who is testifying must understand and be able to explain clearly to the finder of fact. The test results are to be interpreted according to certain guidelines, which are another thing that the expert witness must be aware of and able to describe. Forensic toxicologists are also used in DWI cases to explain the manner in which alcohol behaves in the body. Toxicologists might testify about how a person is likely to act at a particular time after consuming a certain amount of drinks based on their calculations involving the metabolism of alcohol in the body. A toxicology expert might also testify about procedures for administering blood and breath tests in the field, procedures for calibrating breathalyzer machines and other equipment, and other similar issues. Because of the broad spectrum of topics that toxicology expert witnesses testify on, it is easy to see how a misstatement regarding the credentials of any such expert could prove damaging if the “expert” gives the finder of fact incorrect information.

If you have questions about Texas DWI defense law, Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, may be able to help you. Whether you are being charged with your first offense or a subsequent offense, we are here to guide you through each step of the DWI case process towards resolution of your matter. Call our office at 214-521-4567 today to find out more.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Discusses Treatment for DWI Offenders

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Sometimes, a DWI arrest is just the wake-up call that a person needs to realize that they might need to reevaluate their relationship with alcohol. Fortunately, courts respond well to defendants who see the error of their ways and who choose to pursue treatment as part of resolving their DWI cases. One example of a high-profile DWI defendant who has chosen the treatment path is Texas Rangers player Jeremy Jeffress. Jeffress was recently arrested for DWI, and not only has he apologized for his poor decision, but he has also entered a treatment program, a commitment that indicates that he is serious about taking action that could help him make better choices in the future.

If you are charged with DWI, and you think that you may want to pursue treatment for alcohol-related issues, know that there are many different options for drug and alcohol treatment throughout the state of Texas. It is possible for DWI defendants to choose to enter treatment voluntarily, so if you feel as though you may benefit from it, be sure to seek it out on your own instead of waiting to see whether the court orders you to attend. Voluntary attendance at a treatment program speaks well of a defendant’s remorse as well as of their desire to refrain from driving under the influence of alcohol in the future.

Some DWI offenders need treatment for drug addiction as well as alcohol dependence. There are treatment centers that offer complete solutions for whatever it is that you need. With more than thirty programs available throughout the state, there is sure to be a program that is a good fit for you. Seeking treatment could help you to refrain from drinking and driving in the future, which would, in turn, help you avoid dealing with additional DWI charges, getting injured in an accident, or hurting others by injuring them in an accident.

It is important that DWI defendants be honest with themselves and with their attorneys about the role that alcohol plays in their lives, so the desirability of treatment can be accurately assessed. While all DWIs result from poor decisions, only some of those decisions are made by people who have an addiction to alcohol. Other DWI defendants are occasional drinkers who do not have a problem with alcohol abuse. Talking with your attorney about the role of alcohol in your life can help them understand whether pursuing treatment would benefit you or whether you truly do not need it. If your attorney has a clear idea of whether treatment is necessary for you, they can either work it into the resolution of your case, or they can push back against the prosecution if they are trying to impose court ordered treatment.

If you were arrested for DWI, you are probably well aware that your driving privileges, your freedom, and other things in your life are at stake. You probably want to do everything in your power to preserve the most important things in your life, and pursuing treatment for alcohol abuse may be a valuable tool that can help you do that. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit can help you understand the treatment options that are available and can work treatment into his plan for resolving your case. Attorney Pettit has helped numerous Texas DWI clients with their DWI cases, and he would like to help you, too. To learn more, please call 214-521-4567 today.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Shares Football Season Tailgating Tips

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

It’s football season, and there’s something wonderful about getting together with family or friends to cheer on your favorite team. Tailgate parties can add even more fun to the game day experience – unless someone in your group ends up being charged with DWI. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to encourage responsible behavior at your tailgate parties this season. Use these tips to keep yourself, your friends, and your family safe and out of trouble.

If you are someone who enjoys preparing and serving delicious creations on your tailgate grill, it may be surprising to you that some people do not bring enough food to their tailgate parties. That’s right, some people bring a couple of snacks or even forget the food altogether and focus their efforts on making sure that they have plenty of cold beer and other beverages available for themselves and their guests. Drinking alcohol on an empty stomach magnifies the effects that alcohol has on the body, such as impaired judgment. When a person’s judgment is impaired, they are more likely to make poor choices, such as drinking and driving. Bring plenty of food to go along with your drinks to reduce the likelihood that one of your guests will drive while they are under the influence of alcohol.

As important as food is to tailgate parties, water is just as important. Weather during football season can vary dramatically, and when people are out in the sun drinking alcohol, it can affect their bodies more severely if they are dehydrated. Bring a lot of water for yourself and your guests, and encourage everyone to drink at least one cup of water for each alcoholic beverage that they consume.

Keep your drinks separate to avoid confusion and help people make responsible choices about what to drink. If all of the non-alcoholic drink choices are in one cooler and the minors, designated drivers, and others who choose not to drink know where to find them, they are less likely to be tempted by the alcoholic beverages in the other cooler. In conjunction with this tip, also be sure that you know the ages of the people who are drinking at your party to ensure that you do not accidentally serve alcohol to any minors.

Plan ahead for after the game by having telephone numbers of taxi services handy for your guests and designating one or more sober drivers ahead of time. If everyone at your tailgate party knows that they can get a safe ride home, they are less likely to drink and drive.

Keep football season fun for your family and friends by tailgating responsibly. Taking steps to reduce the likelihood that anyone in your group will get a DWI is a good thing to do at tailgate parties and at any other type of social gathering throughout the year where alcohol is served. If you are currently facing DWI charges, speak with a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away to protect your rights. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been serving DWI clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call his office today, at 214-521-4567.