Archive for the ‘Criminal Defense’ Category

Wrongfully Accused? – Why You Need to Speak with a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

Dallas law enforcement officials do their best to only charge individuals with committing particular crimes that are based on solid physical evidence.  However, many individuals are charged with crimes that are simply unsubstantiated, with little or no physical evidence available.  While not all crimes will have physical evidence that proves innocence or guilt, there has to be some legitimate basis for a prosecutor to charge someone with committing a crime.  Those who have been wrongfully accused know all too well how emotionally painful it can be to fight false allegations of criminal conduct.  Some people have even spent their entire lives in jail, or even have been executed for crimes they didn’t commit.  With the right legal representation, no innocent individual should be convicted of a crime that he or she did not commit.

After the Arrest in Dallas County

If you have been arrested for a crime you did not commit, you should not speak with any law enforcement officer without an attorney present.  Many individuals make the mistake of speaking with an officer in a casual way that may turn out to haunt them later on, even though they may be innocent.  Further, some individuals believe that because they are innocent, they have nothing to hide, and will speak openly with police officers.  This is a very tricky situation where police officers may take what you say and demonstrate that your words somehow link you to the crime you have been arrested for.

The first thing you should do following arrest is contact an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney.  Panicking after arrest only adds to an already stressful situation, as the entire arrest and interrogation process is traumatic for many people.  When facing a criminal charge with an attorney by your side, it is a little easier to deal with false criminal accusations.

Fighting the Criminal Charge

As soon as possible following your arrest, your attorney will seek to have the criminal charges dismissed against you.  If you are innocent, your attorney will present facts and evidence to prove your innocence.  Oftentimes, if you are truly innocent, there is at least some form of substantial evidence that demonstrates that there is no way you could have committed the crime you have been charged with.  While there is no guarantee that false criminal charges against you will be immediately dismissed, it is still very important to seek the help of an attorney as soon as possible after being arrested and charged with a crime.

 Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

 If you or someone you know has been wrongfully accused and currently facing criminal charges, it cannot be stressed enough that you need to consult with an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney right away.  The earliest stages of a criminal proceeding are the most crucial.  The sooner you are able to fight you criminal charge alongside an attorney, the sooner you will be able to overcome the criminal matter and move on with your life.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience.  By attacking criminal charges as soon as possible following arrest, Mr. Pettit has been able to help numerous innocent clients fight false criminal allegations.  If you have found yourself in this position, or you have a loved one who has been wrongfully accused, contact Attorney Jack Pettit today by calling (214) 521-4567 to schedule your initial consultation.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Felon in Possession of Firearm in Texas – What’s at Stake if You Are Convicted

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Being considered a convicted felon in Texas is difficult enough for you and your loved ones.  Having a tarnished criminal record may prevent you from getting the job you want, finding a home or apartment to rent, or being accepted to a college or university.  Because the consequences of having a felony on your record in Texas are already serious enough, it is especially important for such individuals to stay away from anything that could be considered a firearm or other weapon.  Even touching another person’s gun, even if unintended, can be grounds for facing a felon in possession of firearm charge.  Despite the fact that Texas is a gun-friendly state, a being charged with unlawful possession of a firearm as a convicted felon is taken very seriously in this state, and it is crucial that you have a full understanding of the consequences that may result from a conviction.

Unlawful Possession of Firearm Under Texas Law

In Texas, an individual may be charged with and found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm if he or she possesses a firearm after a prior felony conviction and before the fifth anniversary of the individual’s release from jail and/or probationary supervision.  Further, such individual may also be charged with and convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm if he or she possesses a firearm after the five-year period at any location aside from the individual’s home. 

For individuals without a felony on their record, the punishment for being convicted of unlawful possession of a firearm is not particularly severe.  However, for individuals with one or more felonies on their record, possessing a firearm within five years following release from jail and/or probationary supervision can result in conviction of a third degree felony.  This conviction carries with it the potential for up to ten years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.  These potential consequences are extremely severe given the minor nature of simply possessing a firearm.

A charge of unlawfully possessing a firearm in Texas can be tricky when it is questionable as to whether or not an individual was truly in possession of a firearm or other weapon.  For example, if a firearm was nearby a person with a prior felony on his or her record, the firearm’s mere presence may be enough to charge a convicted felon with unlawfully possessing a firearm.  Given that so much is at stake when facing an unlawful possession of firearm charge with a prior felony on your record, it is imperative that you consider contacting an experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney to help you build a strong defense.

Contact Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

If you or a loved one has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm in Texas, it is crucial that you act quickly to speak with a knowledgeable and skilled Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney.  Being a felon in possession of a firearm is very serious and has potentially harsh consequences.  If you act quickly, your attorney will advocate on your behalf to minimize the severity of any potential consequences.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience helping the accused fight very serious criminal charges.  Having a thorough understanding of what to expect from the prosecution, Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is able to provide his clients with well-rounded and thorough legal representation.  If you would like to speak with Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit about your criminal matter, contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Understanding Probable Cause – When an Officer Has the Power to Arrest You in Texas

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

We all have constitutional rights that must be respected when making contact with law enforcement officials.  Most of us generally know what the “Miranda warning” is and that this warning is read to an individual upon arrest.  However, what some of us might not be aware of is when a law enforcement official has the power to make an arrest.  Even if you have heard of the term “probable cause,” it is a good idea to find out as much as you possibly can about probable cause, so that you have an understanding of when an officer can and cannot make a lawful arrest.

What is Probable Cause?

Probable cause has the same meaning in Texas as it does in every other state.  Probable cause is intended to be a threshold requirement that an officer must establish before making an arrest.  Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for officers to make arrests without meeting the probable cause threshold requirement.  Probable cause may be established if an officer has objective evidence that leads him or her to believe that an individual has committed a crime.  This is something that is more than “reasonable suspicion,” which is a lower threshold.  An officer may be able to detain an individual if he or she has an objectively reasonable basis for believing the individual has committed a crime.

Probable cause is different from reasonable suspicion in that no arrest can be made based on reasonable suspicion alone.  There must be some sort of evidence that an officer can point to in order to link you to a particular crime.  As such, individuals who are arrested based on anything less than probable cause may have grounds for having their criminal charges dismissed.  Being arrested without probable cause is a violation of your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.

Why it is Crucial to Have Experienced Legal Counsel

Individuals who defend against criminal charges without the assistance of a skilled attorney are not doing everything they can to fight for their rights, as it is necessary to have the best legal representation possible.  With the guidance of a seasoned Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney, you will know whether or not there may be grounds to have your criminal charge dismissed based on the unconstitutional conduct of the arresting officer.  However, it is important to understand that the judge has the final say as to whether or not probable cause exists that you have committed a crime.  Regardless of whether or not a judge believes probable cause existed in your case, you still have a fighting chance to overcome your criminal charge in the most reasonable way possible given the individual circumstances of your case, so long as you have a strong advocate by your side.

Contact Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

Being arrested is a frightening experience for anyone, but especially so for those being arrested for the first time.  Many individuals being arrested in and around Dallas are not fully aware of what their rights are, and simply listen to an officer’s orders without asking questions.  If you have a good understanding of probable cause and when an officer actually has the power to arrest you, it may be easier for you to determine that a police officer may be stepping outside of his or her bounds.  If you or someone you know has been arrested and is facing criminal charges, it is important that you speak with a skilled Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney right away, as time is of the essence.  Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has more than thirty years of experience, both as a former prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney.  To schedule your initial consultation with Jack Pettit, contact our office today by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

What You Should Know About Field Sobriety Tests in Texas

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Texas law enforcement officials administer field sobriety tests when they suspect that an individual may be driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), depending on the age of the driver.  The purpose of a field sobriety test is to evaluate and test the individual’s sensory abilities, balance, coordination and cognitive ability.  During a field sobriety test, the police officer will do the following:

  • Ask that the driver stand and balance on one leg;
  • Ask that the driver walk in a straight line, turning around and walking back;
  • Ask that the driver move his or her eyes back and forth, following the police officer’s pen or small flashlight;
  • Ask that the driver touch his or her finger to the nose; and
  • Ask that the driver recite the alphabet (sometimes from z to a, but other times only a small segment of the alphabet, such as from b to q).

Depending on the results of the field sobriety test, a driver may be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test and/or may be immediately arrested if there are clear signs that the driver is intoxicated.  Such signs include, but are not limited to, slurred speech, the inability to balance or walk, and bloodshot eyes.  However, field sobriety tests do not always demonstrate accurate results.  It may be that a particular individual is clumsy and has trouble balancing on one foot or walking in a straight line.  Walking without the ability to evenly put weight on both feet can be difficult for many individuals, especially those with physical disabilities.  Further, reciting the alphabet from z to a is quite challenging for most people, regardless of whether they are intoxicated or not.

The subjective nature of field sobriety tests calls into question a police officer’s judgment and use of discretion and whether or not there were valid grounds to believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol.  Because field sobriety tests raise constitutional issues, you should be aware of what to expect and know that you can refuse to submit to the test.  But, if you refuse to submit to a field sobriety test, you will likely be arrested and a further investigation will be conducted to determine if there are grounds to charge you with a DUI or DWI.  Most officers will not make it clear to you that you have the power to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test, so many individuals believe they are obligated to submit to the test.  Whether or not you would choose to submit to a field sobriety test is a judgment call, and this should be discussed with an attorney so that you understand what your rights and responsibilities are the next time you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Contact Dallas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), it is imperative that you seek the advice of a qualified Dallas County DUI and DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  Field sobriety tests are a crucial part of any DUI or DWI case, as individuals often face constitutional violations that they are not even aware of.  The sooner you speak with an attorney, the better off you will be in fighting your DUI or DWI charge.  Dallas County DUI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than three decades of experience working with the Texas criminal justice system.  If you believe your constitutional rights have been violated, there may be grounds for having your DUI or DWI charge dismissed.  To discuss your criminal case in detail, contact Jack Pettit today to schedule an initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Evading and Resisting Arrest in Texas – What You Need to Know

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Whether or not you have ever been arrested, you likely know that the more cooperative you are with the arresting police officers, the much easier the arrest and detention process will be.  Some individuals feel the need or urge to avoid being arrested, regardless of what the reason may be.  An individual who intentionally resists arrest by an officer may be facing a criminal charge that could have been easily prevented.  Further, if an individual runs away to evade police, he or she could face a criminal charge is also preventable, and both crimes could result in fines and potential jail time.

Some Texas residents believe that if they have not committed any crime, they cannot be arrested for anything at all.  They may use their innocence as a reason to either evade or resist being arrested, however, it is never a good idea to intentionally evade or resist arrest.  Whether you are guilty or innocent of a particular crime will be determined later on.  At the arrest stage, whether or not you are innocent should not prevent you from cooperating with police officers, as this will only cause you unnecessary legal trouble.

Penalties for Evading and Resisting Arrest in Texas

When an individual intentionally flees from a person he or she knows to be a peace officer who is attempting to lawfully arrest or detain the individual, he or she may be found guilty of evading arrest.  Under Texas law, evading arrest is considered a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of $500.  However, there are situations where a charge of evading arrest may be a more serious misdemeanor or even a felony if other factors are involved, such as the use of a vehicle to flee from police.

When an individual intentionally prevents or obstructs a person he or she knows to be a peace officer, he or she may be found guilty of resisting arrest.  Under Texas law, resisting arrest is considered a Class A misdemeanor which is fairly serious considering how easily a charge of resisting arrest can be prevented by simply cooperating with law enforcement officials.

Because charges of evading and/or resisting arrest can result in potential jail time, individuals who have been charged with evading or resisting arrest should take their criminal matter very seriously.  These are not criminal charges that should be dealt with alone.  You need a skilled and seasoned criminal defense attorney who can quickly evaluate your situation and help you fight your criminal charges, seeking to avoid jail time and the imposition of hefty fines.

 Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Both evading and resisting arrest in Texas are serious crimes that may result in jail time and significant fines, regardless of what the reason was for the arrest.  Ignoring police instructions is one of the biggest mistakes individuals can make when they are facing arrest.  If you or a loved one has been charged with evading or resisting arrest in Texas, it is important that you have a qualified Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney standing by your side to advocate for you rights to the fullest extent possible.  Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has more than thirty years of experience working both as a former prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney.  Attorney Jack Pettit utilizes all resources available, and thoroughly investigates each and every client’s case with the same dedication to provide the best legal representation possible.  To discuss your criminal charge with Jack Pettit, contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Getting Out of Jail After Arrest – Understanding Your Options in Texas

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Getting arrested is certainly a frightening experience, especially when it catches you by surprise.  For example, you may have a traffic ticket that you have forgotten about and a warrant issued for your arrest.  You get pulled over, the officer pulls up your record which reveals the warrant, and you are taken to jail.  Or, the warrant for your arrest may relate to a more serious misdemeanor or felony charge in Texas.  Regardless of the reason for the issuance of a warrant and/or for your arrest, you will likely be required to pay bail in order to be let free.  If you have been charged with felony drug possession, for example, your bail amount may be significantly higher than the bail amount for the charge of driving with an expired or illegal driver’s license.

How Can I Get Out of Jail?

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to bailing someone out of jail is coming up with the necessary amount of money that will set your loved one free.  The obvious first option is to find the cash to bail your loved one out of jail.  If the amount is a few hundred dollars, then paying the bail amount may be doable.  However, if the bail amount is pushing one thousand dollars or more, you may have to look to other options to satisfy the bail amount, otherwise your loved one may be staying in jail for an unknown amount of time.

Additional options for making bail include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Giving property worth the full amount of the bail (such as a watch or piece of jewelry); or
  • Giving a bond that guarantees payment of the full bail amount.

It is important to understand that if you are going to post bond, you may choose to work with a bail bondsman, and while this will get you out of jail right away, you may be paying back a significant amount in fees and interest charges.  In Texas, you also have the option of having your attorney post bond to get you out of jail.  Therefore, it is extremely important to consult with an experienced Dallas Country Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you get out of jail and face your criminal charge.  Working with an attorney will also give you some peace of mind in knowing that your rights are being protected.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you or someone you know has been arrested and needs to get out of jail, you will need to act quickly to pay bail and enlist the legal services of a skilled Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney.  Oftentimes it is difficult to come up with sufficient cash to bail someone out of jail.  As such, having a full understanding of the various options you can take will help you make the best decision given the circumstances you are in.  A qualified Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney can help you utilize all resources possible to come up with the required bail amount in order to bail someone out of jail.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of service working with the criminal justice system, defending his clients’ rights to the fullest extent possible.  If you would like to speak with Jack Pettit regarding a criminal charge that your or someone you know is facing, contact our office right away by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Texas Felon in Possession of Firearm – What is at Stake?

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

If you or someone you know has been convicted of a felony, regardless of whether that felony was violent in nature or not, you likely are aware that there may be limitations placed on your ability to possess a firearm in the foreseeable future.  Owning and/or possessing a gun is cherished by many Texans, so it is important to be aware of just how serious a felony conviction is in Texas, where long-lasting consequences are possible.  Many individuals who have been convicted of a felony do not truly understand the ramifications of what can happen if they even pick up a gun.  The stakes are high, and it simply isn’t worth it to even touch a gun.  However, if you are charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, you must act quickly and retain a qualified Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you fight this criminal charge.

Felon in Possession Under Texas Law

An individual with a prior felony conviction may be found guilty of being a felon in possession of a fire arm under Texas law if he or she possesses a firearm at any time following the prior felony conviction.  However, if the individual possesses the fire arm within the five year period following the felony conviction, he or she may be convicted of a third degree felony, which carries with it the potential for two to ten years in jail and a fine up to $10,000.  This is the punishment that may be imposed upon an individual with just one prior felony conviction.  If an individual has two or more prior felony convictions, and is then charged with being a felon in possession of a fire arm, the consequences may be much more severe if conviction results, and long-term jail time may be a real possibility.

The standard of proof required to establish that a convicted felon was in possession of a fire arm is very low.  There are no strong defenses to a felon in possession of a fire arm charge in Texas.  In order to prove that you are guilty of being a felon in possession of a fire arm, the prosecution must prove that you do in fact have a prior felony conviction, you were actually in possession of a fire arm voluntarily, and you possessed the fire arm within five years following your prior felony conviction.  If you possessed the fire arm more than five years following your felony conviction, then the criminal charge is considered a Class A misdemeanor.  While this is certainly less harsh than a third degree felony, it is still a serious criminal charge that must be dealt with alongside a skilled Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you have a criminal record and are concerned about how the possession of a firearm could affect you, it is imperative that you seek the advice of a skilled Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon possible.  Felons who are caught with firearms face significant criminal penalties that could follow them for years to come.  As such, the sooner you consult with an attorney, the more likely your attorney will be able to provide you with the best representation possible.  Dallas Attorney Jack Pettit has more than thirty years of experience working in the criminal justice system, as both a former prosecutor and as a current criminal defense attorney.  Jack Pettit will help you build the best defense possible to any criminal charge and will seek to resolve your criminal matter in the most reasonable way possible with the goal of avoiding jail time.  To speak with Jack Pettit about your criminal charge or prior conviction, contact our office today by calling (214) 521-4567 to schedule an initial consultation.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Texas Cracks Down on Identity Theft

Saturday, May 31st, 2014

Millions of individuals have fallen victim to identity theft over the past couple of decades, and the crime of identity theft is certainly on the rise as most information regarding an individual is now stored electronically.  Being accused of stealing someone’s identity can be just as horrific and stressful as it is to be a victim of identity theft, especially when you are completely innocent.  Regardless of guilt or innocence, being charged with identity theft in Texas can result in both the imposition of significant fines and a rather lengthy jail term.  However, it is important to remember that no two cases are alike, and one individual convicted of identity theft may receive probation, while another individual may receive a five year jail sentence.  The facts of each individual’s case are the driving force behind what the penalties will be.

Identity Theft Under Texas Law

Under Texas law, an individual may be charged with and convicted of identity theft if he or she uses another individual’s personal details, such as name, birth date, and social security number, in order to obtain goods, services or anything else of value.  There are two separate identity theft laws in Texas that apply to situations where an individual is charged with the crime of identity theft, as described below:

  • Fraudulent Use or Possession of Identifying Information – An individual who obtains another individual’s identifying information (i.e., name, birth date, and/or social security number) without consent, or who transfers or uses such information, has committed a form of identity theft.
  • Unauthorized Acquisition or Transfer of Certain Financial Information – An individual who acquires, without authorization, certain financial information on financial documents (such as photocopies of checks, credit cards, and/or bank statements), and transfer such information to a third party, has committed a form of identity theft.

Regardless of what type of identity theft is being alleged, the penalties can be quite harsh.  The unauthorized acquisition of certain financial documents is considered a Class B misdemeanor in Texas.  Transferring such information to a third party raises the crime to a Class A misdemeanor.  The fraudulent use or possession of identifying information is considered a felony in Texas.  Depending on the individual facts of the case and how serious the offense is, the felony may range from jail felony to felony in the first degree.  As such, a conviction of identity theft, especially where the crime is considered a felony, can have disastrous consequences that may leave you or a loved one in jail for a number of years.

As Texas cracks down on acts of identity theft, more people will be arrested and potentially facing charges.  Because identity theft can be a felony, you need the best criminal defense representation possible to ensure your rights and interests are being protected.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with identity theft in Texas, it is imperative that you consult with a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  Given that identity theft has dramatically increased over the years, Texas law enforcement officials have been pressing charges more frequently.  The consequences of identity theft can be just as serious as, or even more serious than, any other theft charge in Texas.  As such, the sooner you are able to speak with an attorney, the sooner you can fight the criminal charges against you.  Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience working with the criminal justice system.  Attorney Jack Pettit has the skill and reputation you are looking for in a seasoned criminal defense attorney.  To discuss your criminal charge with Jack Pettit, contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

DWI Charges in Texas – When Lending Your Car to Others Can Be Risky

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

It’s not always easy to say no to a friend, family member, co-worker, or other acquaintance who has asked to borrow your car, especially when that person is literally begging you, or trying to convince you it’s an emergency.  While most of the time, cars are borrowed without consequence, there are times when the individual who has borrowed the car has been drinking, and subsequently is pulled over and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas.  If this happens, and you are completely unaware that the individual was under the influence, you likely will not face criminal charges.  However, you should be aware that you could potentially be charged with aiding and abetting if there is any evidence to show you may have known about the individual’s intoxication, and/or knowingly allowed that person to drive your car.

In Texas, aiding and abetting is a general crime, and the consequences and range of punishment of a conviction entirely depend upon the underlying crime.  With a DWI, if you knew or had reason to know that another person driving your car was under the influence, you face consequences that could result in a conviction on your criminal record, causing problems for you in the future.  However, if you consult with a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney right away, your attorney may be able to get any criminal charges against you dismissed or lowered to less serious charges.

It is important to understand that the police must have clear facts to show you aided and abetted another person who operated your vehicle while under the influence.  In most cases, the owner of the vehicle is unaware that the individual operating the vehicle has done so under the influence.  But, you should be prepared in the event the police speak with you about what happened.  Even if you had nothing to do with the individual driving your car under the influence, your nerves and anxiety of speaking with police officers may cause you to say something you did not intend.  As such, you should speak with an attorney prior to talking with police, even if you have not been convicted of any crime.

You should also be aware that you may be held civilly liable for the driver’s negligence if any property has been damaged or destroyed, and/or any person has been injured as a result of the individual’s conduct in allegedly driving under the influence.  Because there is a potential that you may have to speak with the police and/or may be charged with aiding and abetting, it is essential that you seek the opinion of a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Criminal charges can be unsuspecting, and oftentimes accused individuals are shocked when they are charged with a crime they were not actually involved in.  Whether you have been charged with a DWI, or you have been charged with aiding and abetting, you should consult with a seasoned Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney right away.  The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner your attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and either seek dismissal of the charge, or negotiate to have the charge lowered to a less serious crime.  Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor, and has more than thirty years of experience working in the criminal justice system.  Mr. Pettit devotes his practice to defending the constitutional rights of his clients and seeking the best resolution possible for each client’s unique circumstances.  To schedule an initial consultation with Jack Pettit, contact our office today by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

Disorderly Conduct in Texas – What You Should Know

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

Disorderly conduct is typically not considered to be a very serious crime, however, being convicted of disorderly conduct could make it difficult for you to obtain employment or be admitted to a college or university as the conviction will be on your criminal record.  Further, disorderly conduct is much broader than many people realize.  The range of punishment is different depending on the nature and severity of the conduct.  Even though disorderly conduct is a misdemeanor offense, and therefore not as serious as other crimes, you still need a highly experienced attorney providing you with the best representation possible.  Without the assistance of a Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney, you may not be able to get the charge reduced or dismissed entirely.  A qualified attorney will look for the best options possible to reach a positive outcome.

What is Disorderly Conduct in Texas?

Under Texas law, disorderly conduct ranges from being intoxicated in public, to making false, abusive, or harassing calls to 911 operators, to falsely reporting a bomb or fire, to threatening another person in public, to discharging a firearm in public, to causing excessive noise in a public place and/or near a private residence, and to fighting in public, among many others.  When you think of disorderly conduct, you tend to envision that an individual is being difficult, violent, offensive, disagreeable, and/or belligerent.  However, the scope of disorderly conduct is much broader, and the conduct in question does not need to be violent or offensive in nature. 

Merely creating an excessive noise isn’t necessarily violent or offensive, yet it is still considered disorderly conduct.  It is important that Texans understand how broad the crime of disorderly conduct is to ensure they take all steps necessary to avoid being charged with the crime.  If you are charged with disorderly conduct, your attorney will first investigate whether you may have any defenses to the charge, and if so, the dismissal of your claim may be sought.  Otherwise, your attorney may be able to lower your disorderly conduct charge to a less severe crime that will not be harmful to your criminal record.

 

Range of Punishment for Conviction of Disorderly Conduct in Texas 

If convicted of disorderly conduct in Texas, the classification of your conviction ranges from being a Class A misdemeanor to a Class C misdemeanor.  If convicted of a Class C misdemeanor, you face a fine of up to $500, but no jail time.  If convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, you face a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 180 days in jail.  If convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, you face a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. 

Disorderly conduct in the form of discharging a firearm in public (but not on or across a public road), is considered a Class C misdemeanor, therefore, this is an example of one of the less severe forms of disorderly conduct.  The other extreme of disorderly conduct that is considered a Class A misdemeanor is reporting false alarms, such as making abusive or harassing calls to 911 operators, reporting a bomb when no bomb exists, reporting a fire that does not exist, or anything else that results in a false emergency response. 

Regardless of what the conduct in question is, if you have been charged with disorderly conduct, the sooner you seek the advice of a qualified Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney, the greater your chances are of resolving the matter in the most efficient and equitable way possible.

 Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Being charged and subsequently convicted of disorderly conduct can leave you with a blemished criminal record if you do not have a skilled attorney by your side helping you reach the best resolution possible to avoid jail time, and to avoid having a criminal conviction on your record.  Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has more than three decades of experience working with the criminal justice system, both as a former prosecutor and as an active criminal defense attorney.  Having well-rounded experience is essential to providing the best legal representation possible.  If you are facing a disorderly conduct charge, or any other criminal charge, contact Jack Pettit today by calling (214) 521-4567 to schedule an initial consultation.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.