Archive for the ‘Traffic Ticket Defense’ Category

Dallas Traffic Attorney Discusses How Speeding Tickets Can Affect Your Insurance Rates

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Speeding tickets are not normally thought of as being a big deal.  You get pulled over, get a ticket, and pay a fine.  Even the best of drivers, and the most cautious, are at risk for being pulled over.  Police officers in Texas have been known to pull drivers over for going just a few miles per hour over the speed limit.  This inconvenience could cause you more harm than simply paying a fine.

What many people do not know is that after being issued a speeding ticket, your automobile insurance rates may increase, whether in the form of a one-time fine, or an overall increase in your monthly premiums.  All insurance companies have different policies and procedures regarding rate increases, however, if you have received a speeding ticket, you should be aware that you may not only be facing a fine and possible court date – you could be paying hundreds of dollars that you otherwise would not be responsible for.

What Can I Do To Avoid Increasing My Insurance Rates?

More often than not, you have the ability to lower your speeding ticket violation to a lesser charge, such as a non-moving violation.  A non-moving violation could be defective equipment (such as a broken tail light), or perhaps expired tags – something that does not have the potential to raise your insurance rates.  However, you need the assistance of an attorney to help you through this process.

When you receive a citation for speeding, you will automatically receive a court date where you can appear to contest the ticket, or you can pay the fine ahead of time in order to avoid appearing in court.  If you choose to have your ticket amended, an attorney will have to appear on your behalf and ask the court to accept your offer to amend the ticket.  If the court accepts this offer, you will most likely have to pay a heftier fine in order to reduce the speeding ticket charge to a non-moving violation.  This could mean that you will have to pay twice as much as you would otherwise pay, however, the cost of amending the charge could save you in the long run from an increase in your insurance rates.

It is important to remember that the amount of speeding tickets you have on your record will certainly influence your insurance rates and a court’s decision to amend a pending speeding ticket.  Further, how fast you were driving will also have an impact on your insurance rates, as faster drivers are higher risk, and a court may not grant an amendment if you speed was excessive.  For these reasons, it is imperative that you do what you can to avoid getting speeding tickets in the first place, and in the unfortunate event that you do receive a speeding ticket, you take care of it right away with the help of a qualified Dallas attorney.

Contact Dallas Traffic Ticket Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you have a traffic ticket that you would like taken care of, you need an experienced Dallas traffic ticket attorney to help you move on without increasing your insurance rates or earning points on your driver’s license.  Criminal defense and traffic ticket attorney Jack Pettit has more than 30 years of legal experience.  Mr. Pettit has helped his clients overcome the burden of dealing with traffic tickets and the negative effects such tickets can have on insurance rates and driving records.  To ensure you are doing whatever you can to avoid the negative consequences of a traffic ticket, contact Attorney Jack Pettit today to schedule a consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office provides bilingual services in both English and Spanish and we accept major credit cards.

Reckless Driving in Texas – What You May be Facing

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Speeding tickets are always frustrating to deal with.  You have to pay a fine, and sometimes the ticket stays on your record, raising your insurance rates, and alerting police the next time you are pulled over.  Reckless driving is substantially more burdensome to deal with, as it involves potential penalties beyond a simple fine and points on your driver’s license.

Under Texas law, reckless driving is broadly defined as “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.”  This charge applies to drivers on public roads, parking lots, garages, and other areas that are open to public traffic.  With such an open definition, a variety of conduct could fit into what Texas considers to be reckless driving, and this makes it difficult to distinguish between minor and serious episodes of reckless driving.

For example, on the minor end of reckless driving, perhaps you cut a driver off without signaling, or maybe you were driving too close to the person in front of you, creating the risk of a potential car accident.  On the more severe episode of reckless driving, maybe you were driving more than thirty miles over the speed limit and nearly barely missed slamming into a car that pulled out in front of you.  Whatever the conduct may have been, Texas law treats the charge very seriously and considers it a misdemeanor.  This misdemeanor carries a punishment of up to thirty days in jail and a fine of up to $200.

If you have been charged with reckless driving, and you do not believe you are guilty, you can fight the charge and work with your attorney to argue that your conduct does not fit within the definition of reckless driving under Texas law.  However, it is often better to simply negotiate with the prosecutor to find a much quicker result so that you don’t have to be in court multiple times and leave the disposition of your case in the judge’s hands.

Avoiding the Reckless Driving Charge

Because Texas defines reckless driving so broadly, it is important to make sure you are following the state’s driving laws as closely as possible.  If you speed a little bit (such as five to ten miles over the speed limit), you are not likely at risk for a reckless driving charge.  However, if you are in a hurry and turn too quickly in front of another driver according to what a police officer witnesses, that police officer may consider your conduct as being reckless, even if the average person may not agree.  Police discretion is a huge determining factor with a reckless driving charge.  Therefore, to avoid the charge, always signal, don’t follow the car in front of you too closely, don’t excessively speed, and always come to a complete stop.  These small steps will save you hassle in the long run and you won’t be subject to a hefty fine and potential jail time.

Contact Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Discuss Your Reckless Driving Charge

If you have been charged with reckless driving, you need to consult with a Dallas traffic ticket attorney to resolve your matter as early as possible after you have been charged.  Reckless driving is a little more serious than a simple speeding ticket, therefore, it is recommended that you allow an attorney to handle your matter, instead of going before a judge, paying a fine, and being subject to potential jail time.  Attorney Jack Pettit has the experience necessary to handle your reckless driving matter quickly to enable you to put the charge behind you.  Call 214-521-4567 today to meet with Mr. Pettit.  Mr. Pettit offers legal services in both English and Spanish, and also accepts major credit cards.

Five Reasons Not to Ignore Dallas Traffic Tickets

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Sometimes, it can be tempting to ignore life’s little annoyances in the hopes that if you ignore them for a long enough period of time, they will go away. Traffic tickets certainly fall into the category of things that are considered highly aggravating because it takes time, money, or both to deal with them – and, time and money are things that are in short supply for many people. Unfortunately, just as with other types of everyday annoyances that do not disappear when they are ignored, that traffic ticket isn’t going anywhere until you take some form of action to address it.   Here are five reasons why you do not want to ignore Dallas traffic tickets, or any other traffic tickets for that matter:

  1. A warrant could be issued for your arrest. When you get a traffic ticket, you can choose to pay the ticket and plead guilty or no contest; or you can choose to contest it and plead not guilty. Ignoring the ticket is not a viable option because if you do not send in a payment or a plea for the ticket and you fail to attend the hearing where you could contest the ticket, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
  2. You could go to jail. If you have an outstanding Failure to Appear warrant for an unpaid traffic ticket that was issued in Dallas or anywhere else in Texas, you run the risk of being arrested every time you get behind the wheel. As long as that warrant is outstanding, in the event that you are stopped for any type of traffic violation, you may be arrested at once and taken to jail.
  3. You could end up paying even more than the amount of your initial ticket. If you do not send timely payment in for a traffic ticket and you then fail to appear in court for the hearing, Failure to Appear fines may be added to the amount of the original ticket. Avoid incurring additional costs by making a decision about whether or not to contest your traffic ticket within a few days of receiving it. Whichever way you choose to proceed, make a note on your calendar about when to send in your payment or when to contact an attorney to discuss contesting the ticket.
  4. Your driver’s license could be suspended. If you accumulate four traffic tickets within one year, or seven traffic tickets within a period of two years, your driver’s license could be suspended or revoked.
  5. You may end up paying a fine for a ticket that you could have gotten dismissed. In some cases, non – commercial drivers who get a traffic ticket in Texas may be eligible to have their ticket dismissed if they take action on it in the form of pleading not guilty, appearing in court, and offering to take a driver safety course. If you fail to appear for the hearing, your ticket will not be dismissed.

Receiving a traffic ticket is annoying.  As noted above, simply ignoring it won’t make it go away, and could lead to mounting legal problems and huge annoyances in the future. If you would like to learn more about contesting your Texas traffic ticket, call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at (214) 521-4567. Attorney Jack Pettit has been providing exceptional defense representation for clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years, and there is a good chance that he could help you with your Texas traffic ticket.

Texas Traffic Tickets & Out-of-State Commercial Drivers

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Working as a truck driver can be very exciting because your work can take you to many places, including the wide open roads of the State of Texas. Unfortunately, the sheer number of hours that you spend on the road during your working hours puts you at risk for receiving traffic tickets of all kinds. Not only that, but the laws that apply to individuals with commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL) require you to follow more rules than regular motorists, who need not concern themselves with weight limits, log books, or the many other requirements.  If you are driving through Texas and receive a traffic ticket, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed by the logistics of trying to fight the ticket when your work schedule is already full, and you most likely won’t be in Texas at the time of the hearing. All is not lost, though. Even out of state CDL drivers have a fighting chance when it comes to contesting Texas traffic tickets.

Before you send in a payment for that Texas traffic ticket, take time to think about your options. Remember, you have more at stake than the average driver because your CDL license is your license to do your job. You worked hard to earn your CDL license, and the points that can be added to your license from various types of traffic tickets can result in serious damage.  Specifically, not only do you risk losing your job at the company that you work for now, but if you are unable to use your CDL license for any period of time, you won’t be able to work at any trucking company whatsoever.  Of course, once your license is reinstated, finding work will be harder than ever with those tickets in your driving history. Paying your ticket without trying any other avenues of relief first is the worst possible option – just don’t do it. There are attorneys who are skilled in defending CDL drivers like you, and they can help you to dispense with that traffic ticket without jeopardizing your license or your livelihood.

When you are an out-of-state driver with a CDL, your best defense against a Texas traffic ticket is having an experienced defense attorney by your side. An attorney who is skilled at handling CDL defense cases can pursue the dismissal of your Texas traffic ticket, which would be an optimal outcome for you. Yes, dismissal is sometimes possible in CDL cases, even if not all of the dismissal options that are available to regular motorists are available to you as a CDL driver. Even if the charges against you are legitimate, an experienced Texas CDL defense attorney can take measures to mitigate the damages, including offering settlements to keep the citation off of your record, reducing the points that go on your CDL license, and even representing you at a trial if it becomes necessary to do so. Most of these things can be done by your attorney on your behalf, even as you continue to work and be on the road.

Whether you are a trucker from out of state, or a Texas CDL driver who spends all of their time hauling freight in the Lone Star State, Jack Pettit can help you resolve your traffic tickets. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing superior defense representation to clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567, to learn more about how a skilled CDL defense attorney can help to protect your CDL license.