Archive for November, 2016

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Shares Tips for Avoiding Holiday DWIs

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

It’s that time of year again, the holiday season is underway, and your schedule is filling up with exciting plans to get together with family and friends, attend community events, and, of course, have a great time with your co-workers at the annual company holiday party. At every celebration, you are sure to find your favorite seasonal foods and plenty of festive beverages. This holiday season is sure to be memorable, but if you happen to get a DWI on the way home from one of the parties that you attend this season, your holiday memories won’t all be happy ones.

Fortunately, a little advance planning can go a long way towards avoiding a DWI during the holidays or at any time of the year. Drivers should be aware that law enforcement officers know that the holiday season is a popular time for parties. The December holiday season is prime time for DWI checkpoints, increased patrols, and possibly even no refusal weekends in some areas. With this in mind, you can make plans to avoid drinking and driving this holiday season.

If you plan to enjoy alcohol at one or more of the parties that you plan to attend, talk to other people who will be attending the same parties to see whether there are any guests who plan to be designated drivers. You might be able to arrange for a ride with one of them. Also, take a look online to see what kinds of transportation options exist in your area. You may be able to use public transportation, a taxi, or a car service to get to and from all of your holiday parties with zero risk of a DWI.

If your party plans include long distance travel, make plans in advance to spend the night. Staying overnight is a good idea whether or not you plan to drink because tired drivers tend to drive like drunk drivers, which puts them at risk for accidents and at risk for DWI traffic stops. If you do end up in a situation where you will be driving home from a party late at night, enjoy yourself responsibly so that your drive home is both safe and legal. When you drive home, try to avoid attracting any attention from law enforcement officers, so that you will arrive at home without incident. Obeying the rules of the road is a good way to avoid a traffic stop. It’s also a good idea to look over your vehicle thoroughly on a regular basis to look for and fix things like burnt out turn signal lamps and burnt out headlight bulbs which can call attention to your vehicle and provide law enforcement officers with an easy excuse to stop your vehicle.

If you do get pulled over, try to remain calm. Provide as little information as you can while complying with the officer’s reasonable requests. Remember that you are under no obligation to provide information that could incriminate you. If you do end up being pulled over and charged with a DUI, be sure to get help from a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has served DWI clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call him today, at 214-521-4567.


Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About What to do After Your DWI Arrest

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

If you were arrested for DWI, please be aware that the actions that you take now have the potential to affect the outcome of your DWI case in a major way. It is important that all DWI defendants understand what things they can do and which things they can avoid in order to pursue the best possible outcome in their DWI case.

One major thing that any DWI defendant can do to help themselves following their arrest is to take the charges against them seriously. A DWI conviction can have severe economic consequences, and it can adversely affect your freedom. As soon as you are arrested, you can begin to conduct yourself in a way that will minimize the impact of your DWI charges on your life to the extent that that is possible in your case.

The very first thing that you can do as part of taking the DWI charges against you seriously is consulting with a DWI defense attorney. Be sure that you seek out a local attorney who specializes in DWI defense. A local attorney will have an advantage over attorneys who are not local because they are accustomed to working with the same courthouse staff, prosecutors, and others who will be involved in your DWI case. An attorney who handles DWI cases exclusively works with DWI law all day, every day and they are likely to know the law inside and out, in addition to being familiar with which types of defense strategies work best with different types of DWI case scenarios. Be sure to retain an attorney as soon as possible, as your rights are at stake from the moment that you are arrested, and it is in your best interest to have someone working on your behalf as soon as possible.

Another important thing to do after your DWI arrest is to learn about how a conviction could impact your life. No two DWI defendants are alike, and you may have a family, a home, a job, and other things that you are concerned about. Speaking with your attorney about how a conviction could affect the things that are most important to you can help them create a defense strategy that is designed to protect those things as much as possible.

Ideally, you will have chosen an excellent attorney soon after you were arrested for DWI and they have proven to be a reliable ally in your DWI case. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and some clients realize as their case progresses that they are in some way dissatisfied with the representation that they are receiving from their attorney. This could be the result of hiring someone solely because they had the lowest fee, hiring someone without actually talking to them and getting to know them and their approach to DWI cases, or something else entirely. The exact reason for your dissatisfaction is not as important as knowing that it’s not too late for you to change course and proceed with a different attorney.

If you were arrested and charged with DWI, you are likely to have some questions and concerns. There is a lot at stake, including your freedom. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this experience on your own. Texas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has helped many clients with their DWI cases, and he could help you, too. To learn more about Texas DWI cases, please call 214-521-4567 today.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Shares Information about More Evidentiary Concerns

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Recently, the validity of blood test evidence from the Harris County crime lab had come under scrutiny after it was discovered that a technician had falsely stated their qualifications. That issue has brought more than ten years’ worth of DWI cases up for review. Unfortunately, there are additional concerns regarding evidence in Harris County, and even more cases could be affected.

A lab technician at the city crime lab admitted to mislabeling a blood test in a 2013 DWI case. The sample was submitted with errors, and the label was eventually corrected, but the charge against the defendant got reduced. The technician was barred from testing other samples, but she continued to appear in court to testify about other samples that she had tested. Defense attorneys in subsequent cases say they were not notified of the mix-up, which could have provided them with grounds to question her testimony or opportunities to employ other strategies in defending their clients. It is uncertain how many other cases could be affected by this technician’s actions.

Further concerns regarding evidence involve an alleged delay by the District Attorney’s Office in informing defense attorneys that evidence related to their cases could be missing. Earlier this year, Precinct 4 officials realized that evidence was missing from their property room. Upon noticing that evidence was missing, they earlier this year, they notified the district attorney’s office. It appears as though one or more employees were not following proper evidence handling and disposal policies and procedures, but it also appears as though only a couple of pieces of evidence were actually missing.

Evidence is a major part of any DWI case. A skilled Texas DWI defense attorney understands how evidence should be collected and handled throughout the course of a DWI case, and they can carefully scrutinize the actions of the multiple parties and agencies who have handled the evidence in your DWI case so that any potential mistakes can be identified and exposed. Many DWI cases have been defended successfully because the evidence was mishandled or other mistakes were made by law enforcement throughout the course of the DWI traffic stop, arrest, and subsequent activities. Even if no evidentiary mistakes were made in your case, a DWI defense attorney could look for other types of weaknesses or inconsistencies in the State’s case. These weaknesses or inconsistencies can often form the basis for a comprehensive and effective defense strategy.

If you are currently facing DWI charges in Texas, it is important that you speak with a Texas DWI Defense Attorney right away. There is a lot at stake, and you do not have to try to navigate your DWI case on your own. Your attorney can protect your rights, help you understand the charges against you and the DWI case process, and ensure that you receive the best possible defense in your Texas DWI case. To find out more about how Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, can help you, call us today at 214-521-4567.

Texas DWI Defense Attorney Talks About Competence

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

One issue that can come up in any criminal case, including a DWI case, is the question of whether or not the defendant is competent to stand trial. For court proceedings to be fair, a defendant must be both capable of understanding the proceedings that are being brought against them and capable of assisting their defense counsel in defending them in those proceedings. Capability does not necessarily mean having a high level of understanding or skill in helping in their defense, it is a very basic understanding and ability that most people have most of the time.

It is imperative that DWI defendants understand that raising the issue of competence is not a defense to the crime of DWI. It is a tool that enables defendants to receive a fair trial because it allows court proceedings to be placed on hold until the defendant can become competent to stand trial. For example, if a defendant is found to have a mental impairment that could respond well to therapy or medication or a combination of both, the defendant will be ordered to receive those treatments and can then proceed to trial once the treatments take effect and they can understand and assist as described above.

The defense counsel in a recent Texas DWI case involving competence has asked for additional time to assess whether their client is competent to stand trial. This particular defendant has been examined by multiple professionals, and those professionals appear to have different opinions regarding whether the defendant is competent to stand trial. He was charged with intoxication manslaughter after a November 2013 wrong-way crash that killed one person.

In addition to the issue of differing opinions among professionals, there is the issue of whether those professionals have followed the proper procedures in examining the defendant and reporting their findings. For example, one doctor plans to testify that the defendant is competent, but the defense counsel says that they had not received any report that would have notified them of her findings. Written reports are supposed to be provided to counsel thirty days before the pretrial hearing so that they can have time to read them and prepare their responses to them. A different doctor is of the opinion that the defendant is not competent to stand trial and that the defendant should undergo an extended period of observation and examination.

Competence is just one of many issues that can arise during a DWI case. DWI defendants have a lot at stake, and a Texas DWI Defense Attorney can help those who are charged with DWI protect their rights. If you’re currently facing DWI charges in Texas, you do not have to figure out a DWI defense strategy on your own – in fact doing so could be costly in more ways than one. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has assisted a number of Texas DWI clients with their cases, and he would like to help you. To learn more, please call 214-521-4567 today.