Posts Tagged ‘Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney’

Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Answers Questions Regarding Texas Felony Offenses

Monday, June 29th, 2015

If you or a loved one has been charged with a felony offense, you most likely have legal questions. The best source of information anytime a person has legal is questions is an experienced Dallas County attorney. If you are facing criminal charges, it is critical that you get the answers you need from a trusted source. A Texas felony is a serious offense and needs to be addressed promptly. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions that Dallas County residents have about felony offenses in Texas:

What are the different degrees of felony offenses?

In Texas, there are five different degrees of felony offenses. From least to most serious, the types and examples of each, are as follows:

  • State Jail: Theft of property between $1,500 and $20,000, forgery and possession of marijuana of more than 4 ounces but less than 5 lbs.
  • Third-degree: Possession of marijuana between 5 and 50lbs and third DWI conviction
  • Second-degree: Reckless injury to a child and property theft or insurance fraud between $100,000 and $200,000
  • First-degree: Arson which results in bodily injury or death and theft of property valued at more than $200,000
  • Capital: murder of a child under the age of 10

If convicted of a felony, what penalties would I face?  

Each category of felony offense carries with it a different maximum penalty. The maximum penalties for each type of felony are as follows:

State Jail: Fines of up to $10,000 and confinement between 180 days and two years in state jail

Third-degree: Fines of up to $10,000 and a prison term between 2 and 10 years

Second-degree: Fines of up to $10,000 and a prison term between 2 and 20 years

First-degree: Fines of up to $10,000 and a prison term of 5 to 99 years, or life in prison

Capital: Execution or life in prison without the possibility of parole

Is probation a possibility for a felony offense?

Yes, in certain circumstances a person charged with a felony can be granted probation. Probation is more likely if it would a first time conviction for the accused.

When can a person apply for parole?

For persons serving time in a state jail or prison, most often he or she can accrue an early release for good behavior. A good number of criminal offenses also allow a person to become eligible to apply for parole after the person has completed at least one fourth of his or her sentence.

If charged with a felony offense, why should I hire an attorney?

A felony conviction can have serious consequences. A person convicted of a felony can lose his or her voting rights, eligibility to hold a public office, and/or right to possess a firearm. A felony conviction can also cost a person his or her professional license and/or career. The best way to avoid a felony conviction on your record, is to seek the guidance of an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney.

If you have been arrested and charged with a non-violent felony offense in Dallas County, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Only a seasoned Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney can properly explain the charges against you and start to protect your rights. With more than 30 years of experience, Attorney Jack Pettit is the attorney you can trust when you have been charged with a criminal offense. To learn how Attorney Jack Pettit can assist you in your defense, contact the Law Office of Jack Pettit today to schedule an appointment by calling (214) 521-4567. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Dallas, across from the courthouse. We provide services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

 

Dallas County Attorney Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Charges of Resisting and Evading Arrest

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

A person charged with resisting or evading arrest is usually facing serious criminal charges. First, he or she has the underlying charge and then, the additional charge of resisting or evading arrest. Although most people are familiar with the notion of “resisting arrest”, most are not clear on exactly what the crime entails. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions Dallas County residents have about resisting or evading arrest:

What does it mean to “resist arrest”?

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person can be charged with resisting arrest if he or she through the use of force, tries to prevent or obstruct a peace officer from making an arrest, or a search.

What sorts of actions constitute resisting arrest?

Since the definition of “resisting arrest” is quite broad, there are many actions that can result in a person being charged with the crime, including but not limited to, the following:

  • Physical fighting against an officer of the law when he or she attempts to place him or her in handcuffs;
  • Striking or pushing an officer of the law;
  • Struggling when an officer of the law attempts to place him or her in a police car or jail cell; and
  • Acting violently or threatening violence against an officer of the law (with or without the use of a weapon).

What penalties does a person charged with resisting arrest face?

In most instances of resisting arrest, the person will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The penalty for a Class A misdemeanor is a fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail. However, if the person used a deadly weapon in his or her attempts to resist arrest, or in some way injures the arresting officer, he or she is most likely facing a Class C felony. A Class C felony is punishable by fines up to $10,000 and between two and ten years in prison.

Are there any defenses to a charge of resisting arrest?

Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, the person may have defenses to the charges. A good criminal defense attorney will examine the facts of an individual’s case to determine what defenses if any, he or she may have. The attorney will look to see if his or her client realize at the time of the arrest that the person arresting him or her, was in fact a peace officer. The attorney will also look to see if the peace officer used excessive force when making the arrest.

How is resisting arrest different from evading arrest?

A person evades arrest when he or she purposely takes off from a person he or she knows is an officer of the law, who is attempting to legally detain or arrest him or her. Most often evading arrest is a Class B misdemeanor, but if the person uses a motor vehicle in his or her attempts to flee, the person could be charged with a State Jail Felony. Also, if a person is killed when the person is trying to escape, the person could be charged with a 2nd degree felony.

If you have been arrested and charged with resisting arrest, it is important that you understand your rights. Only an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney can review the charges against you and determine your best course of action. For more than 30 years Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. As a former prosecutor, attorney Jack Pettit can provide you with the skilled legal representation you need when facing criminal charges. To schedule a free and confidential consultation contact the Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

 

Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Answers Questions about Driving on a Suspended, Invalid and/or Revoked License

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

There are many ways for a Texas motorist to lose his or her driving privileges. He or she may have racked up too many unpaid speeding tickets, or have had too many points assessed against his or her driver’s license. A motorist can also lose his or her license in connection with an alcohol related offense, such as DWI, or another criminal offense, like drag racing or using a fake id. Some drivers lose their driver’s license because they have been determined to be a “harm to others” by the court, due to a physical or mental impairment, or are chemically dependent.

When a motorist loses his or her license, he or she may have a “revoked”, “suspended” or “invalid” license. Since it can be quite difficult, if not nearly impossible to get around the great state of Texas without a driver’s license, many motorists that do not possess a valid license succumb to the temptation to drive. A driver who does not possess a valid license can be pulled over and arrested. The exact charge the driver will receive, will depend on the current status of his or her license. The following are the three most common charges a driver without a valid license can incur and how a Dallas County criminal defense attorney can help:

  • Driving on a suspended license: A person convicted of a DWI may have his or her license suspended for a specific amount of time, as part of his or her punishment. A person with a suspended license usually must satisfy a condition before he or she can request to have his or her license reinstated. In the case of a DWI, the driver may have to wait for the suspension time period to expire. However, in the meantime, the person may be eligible to apply for an occupational license.
  • Driving with an invalid license: A person with an invalid license, usually needs to do something in order to have his or license reinstated. Sometimes this can be as simple as paying fines or taking care of warrants for unpaid tickets. Once the hold is removed, the person can usually regain his or her license.
  • Driving on a revoked license: Unlike the above charges, a driver who has had his or her license revoked no longer has a valid license. There are several reasons why a driver may have his or her license revoked. One of the most common reasons, is if the person has a physical or mental impairment that renders him or her unable to operate a vehicle safely. For example, when a person loses his or her license due to advanced age, this is known as a “medical revocation.” If a person is charged with this crime, the best remedy is often for the person to resubmit an application for a valid driver’s license.

Driving without a valid license is a serious offense, and can range from a Class C to a Class A misdemeanor. While the maximum penalty for a Class C misdemeanor is only $500, a person convicted of a Class B misdemeanor can receive a fine of up to $2,000, and up to 180 days in jail. A qualified Dallas criminal defense attorney will not only help you fight the current charges, but can also help you to obtain a valid license, or an occupational license.

If you have been arrested and charged with driving on a suspended or invalid license, it is important that you speak with an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. To see how Attorney Jack Pettit can help resolve your legal woes, contact the Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

Dallas County Attorney Answers Some General Questions about Misdemeanor Offenses in Texas

Monday, March 30th, 2015

It is not uncommon for the average person to be unfamiliar with the Texas criminal justice system. Especially, if the person has never had a run in with the law or known someone who has. The following are some of the more general questions Dallas County residents have about misdemeanor offenses in Texas:

How do misdemeanor and felony offenses differ?

Generally speaking, offenses that are labeled as “misdemeanors” are considered to be far less serious crimes than those labeled as felony offenses. As such, misdemeanor offenses carry less serve penalties than felony offenses. For example, felony convictions are usually punishable by a sentence of at least one year in a state penitentiary and have stiff fines. Whereas misdemeanors sentences are usually for no more than one year and are served at the county jail. Some misdemeanor offenses carry no jail time and are only punishable by a fine. Unlike certain felony offenses, misdemeanor offenses also cannot not affect a person’s civil liberties. Therefore, a person charged with even a serious misdemeanor offense, will not lose his or her voting rights or right to own a firearm.

Are there different categories of misdemeanor offenses?

Just like felony offenses, they are varying degrees of misdemeanor offenses. The most serious of misdemeanor offenses, are categorized as Class A, and range to the least being Class C. Some examples of the misdemeanor offenses are as follows:

  • Class A: Carrying a gun without a permit, resisting arrest, and second offense DWI
  • Class B: Minor drug possession, vandalism, indecent exposure and first offense DWI
  • Class C: Possession of alcohol in a motor vehicle, public intoxication and disorderly conduct

What are the maximum penalties for a misdemeanor offense?  

Each category of misdemeanor carries with it a different maximum penalty. The penalties are as follows:

Class A: A fine not to exceed $4,000 and/or up to 365 days in jail

Class B: A fine not to exceed $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in jail

Class C: a fine of not more than $500

Does a person charged with a misdemeanor offense have the right to a trial by jury?

Just like with a felony offense, a person charged with a misdemeanor offense has the right to a jury trial. However, whether a person should exercise this right or not, is a decision best made after the person consults with his or her attorney.

Do I need to hire an attorney if charged with a misdemeanor?

While a person charged with a misdemeanor offense has the right to represent him or herself, it is often not a wise decision. While misdemeanor offenses carry less serve penalties than felony charges, the person’s rights are still in jeopardy. Depending on the charges faced, if found guilty the court could impose a sentence of up to a year in jail and the charge will appear on the person’s criminal record.

If you have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor offense in Dallas County, it is normal to have questions and need someone to explain to you your rights. However, it is important that the only person you trust with providing you with such information is a seasoned Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney. With more than 30 years of experience, Attorney Jack Pettit is the attorney you can turn to when you have been charged with a criminal offense. To learn how attorney Jack Pettit can help you, contact the Law Office of Jack Pettit today to schedule an appointment by calling (214) 521-4567. Our office is conveniently located in downtown Dallas, across from the courthouse. We provide services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

 

Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Answers the Most Frequently Asked Questions about Public Intoxication

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

It is not against the law to have a drink and walk up and down the streets of Dallas or any other Texas town for the matter. However, if you have a few too many drinks and trip and fall or become rowdy while out in public, you may have crossed the line between legal behavior and “public intoxication.” While public intoxication is not a serious offense in Texas, it can be quite embarrassing and have damaging outcomes. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions Dallas residents have about public intoxication:

What does it mean legally, to be publically intoxicated?

According to the Texas Penal Code, a person is considered to be publically intoxicated if he or she appears to be intoxicated to such a degree, that he or she poses a serious risk to him or herself or others.

What is considered a “public place”?

Texas law defines a public place as any location that is open to the public. This includes commonly thought of public places, like streets, sidewalks and parks. However, the definition of “public places” also includes, places like bars, clubs and restaurants. Even the common areas of apartment complexes, hotels and hospitals meet the law’s definition of “public places.”

What penalties can a person charged with public intoxication face?

A first time offense of public intoxication is considered to be a Class C misdemeanor. As such, a person who pleads guilty to this offense can face a maximum fine of up to $500. If a person charged with public intoxication has three or more prior convictions for the offense within the previous 24 months, he or she could be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. This more serious charge is punishable by a fine of up to $2,000 and/or up to 180 days in the local jail.

Are DWI and public intoxication different?

Public intoxication and driving while intoxicated are completely separate offenses. If a person is charged with DWI and the prosecutor is unable to prove its case against the person, the charges cannot be reduced to ‘public intoxication.’

Should I hire an attorney if I am charged with public intoxication?

Unfortunately, often people who are charged with public intoxication think that there is no point in hiring an attorney to challenge the charges because they face no jail time and the fine is minimal. But, while the offense may only be a misdemeanor, it can pose some serious consequences. If found guilty, the charge will appear on the person’s criminal record. Which means that a person may have to disclose the offense to potential employers on job applications, on forms to receive government or financial assistance, and even to college or universities on admissions applications. In choosing to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, the attorney will not only fight to protect your rights, he or she will also work to keep your criminal record clear.

If you have been arrested and charged public intoxication it is important that you understand your rights. Only an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney can review the charges against you and determine your best course of action. For more than 30 years Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. As a former prosecutor, attorney Jack Pettit can provide you with the superior legal representation you need when facing criminal charges. To schedule a free and confidential consultation contact the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

What a Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Wants You to Know about Class C Misdemeanors

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

In Texas, the least serious category of criminal offenses are known as Class C misdemeanor offenses.  While Class C misdemeanors carry the least possible amount of punishment of any criminal offense, the charges should not be taken lightly. All too often persons charged with Class C misdemeanors treat them more like mere traffic violations, than like criminal charges. Not taking a criminal charge seriously can be a big mistake and one that can have a detrimental impact on a person’s life.  Crimes that are classified as Class C misdemeanors, include the following offenses:

  • Assault
  • Bail jumping
  • Criminal trespass
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Gambling
  • Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle
  • Minor in possession of drugs, alcohol or tobacco
  • Minors driving under the influence
  • Operating a motor vehicle with an open container
  • Shoplifting
  • Writing bad checks

If you have been charged with a Class C misdemeanor, there are several things you need to know, before you decide to simply pay the fine:

  • Paying the fine is not your only option. When charged with a Class C misdemeanor, paying the fine is not your only option. In fact you may even have defenses to the charge, which could lead to a dismissal of the charges or a finding of not guilty. But you will never know if you could have beaten the charges, if you do not consult with a criminal defense attorney.
  • A conviction means a criminal record. Whether you simply pay the fine or are found guilty, a conviction of even a Class C misdemeanor offense means that you now have a criminal record. Having a criminal record can impact a person in many different ways. Certain employers will not hire a person with a criminal record, which cost a person his or her job or potential job prospects. A person with a criminal record may also find it difficult to obtain admission into certain college or vocational programs. Once on your record, a criminal conviction can stay there forever.
  • Hiring a local experienced criminal defense attorney can make a big difference. Anytime you are charged with a criminal offense, your rights and future are at stake. The difference between representing yourself pro se (or even hiring just any attorney) and hiring a local experienced criminal defense attorney can be the difference between acquiring a criminal record and walking away without a record. To make sure you receive the best possible representation, you want to hire an attorney that not only has vast experience handling misdemeanor charges, but who is also familiar with the local rules and courtroom procedures.
  • You may be eligible to file for an expunction. Certain Class C misdemeanor charges can be expunged from a person’s record. This means that the arrest and/or the conviction will not appear on the person’s criminal record. An experienced criminal defense attorney can determine if your record can be expunged.

 If you have been arrested and charged with a Class C misdemeanor it is important that you speak with an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. While a Class C misdemeanor is the least serious category of criminal offenses, a conviction still means a blemish on your criminal record. For more than 30 years Attorney Jack Pettit has worked diligently to protect the rights of clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony offenses. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit brings a special level of experience to his clients. Call the Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free and confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

What a Charge of Disorderly Conduct Means in Texas

Sunday, October 26th, 2014

Disorderly conduct is broad term that refers to a variety of crimes that offend, scare or endanger the community at large. These crimes are often thought of as things that people do when they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, like urinating in a public place. However, while some of these crimes do occur when a person’s judgment is impaired by a substance, others do not. Sometimes, a person charged with disorderly conduct is not even aware that he or she at the time was breaking the law. However, it is important to remember that ignorance is never a valid defense. This is especially important for parents to understand, because children who are older than sixth grade can be charged in Texas with disorderly conduct. The following are a list of some of the acts that can result in a disorderly conduct charge:

  • Public displaying one’s private parts without regard to whether the act may offend or upset other people (i.e., “flashing” someone);
  • Fighting in public;
  • Publicly firing a weapon for a reason other than to protect yourself or others from a dangerous animal;
  • Publicly brandishing a weapon for the purposes of scaring or upsetting other people;
  • Use of obscene or offensive language that is intended to scare or provoke other people (i.e., using “fighting words”);
  • Publicly fighting;
  • Creating excessive noise that disturbs other or the community at large;
  • Being a “peeping Tom,” or peering into another’s person’s private residence or at a person in a public shower or restroom for purposes that are not lawful;
  • Picketing a funeral;
  • Participation in a riot;
  • Being obviously drunk while in public or public intoxication;
  • Blocking a sidewalk, street or access to public building, “protesting” that results in blocking a public road; and
  • Making a false or harassing 911 call.

Punishment

The punishment for a charge of disorderly conduct depends on the severity of the charge. For example, fighting in public in most instances will be considered to be a Class C misdemeanor, which is the least serious misdemeanor. A Class C misdemeanor is punishable by a $500 fine. Funeral picketing and rioting are examples of acts usually classified as Class B misdemeanors. The punishment for a Class B misdemeanor is a fine of up to $2,000 and/or jail time of up to 180 days. However, either of these crimes can be upgraded to a Class A misdemeanor if the crime warrants it.

Seek the advice of an attorney

Any time a person is arrested and charged with a crime, regardless if the crime is a petty offense or a serious charge, his or her rights are in jeopardy. A seasoned criminal defense attorney will be able to not only protect your rights, but also determine if you have any defenses to the charges. A person who forgoes representation and just accepts the charges will have a criminal record. A criminal record is not something that disappears overnight. In many instances, a criminal record can interfere with a person’s ability to obtain employment or can even raise your insurance rates.

If you have been arrested and charged disorderly conducts or disturbing the peace, it is important that you speak with an experienced Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible. For more than 30 years Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients charged with both misdemeanor and felony criminal charges. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit brings a special advantage to his clients. To schedule a free and confidential consultation call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

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.

Dallas Drug Crimes – Is Jail Time Better Than Probation?

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Drug crimes come in many shapes and forms depending on the facts of each case, and the likelihood that you may serve time in jail for a particular drug conviction is entirely dependent upon how serious the allegations against you are.  Regardless of how minor or serious a drug charge may be, many convicted individuals wish to serve jail time as opposed to undergoing a long probationary period if they are ultimately found guilty.  This may seem to be a very strange viewpoint, however, some individuals have found that probation is more restricting than simply serving a jail term.  This is especially the case for some misdemeanor and felony drug convictions.

Why Some People Choose Jail Time Over Probation

Some convicted individuals believe that they should not be subjected to long-term probation for making one mistake that will never happen again.  The individuals find long-term probation to be very restrictive.  As such, serving a six month or even one year jail term in lieu of long-term probation seems like a more sensible decision to make for some than for others.  Further, undergoing a probationary period may feel as though each and every move you are making is being watched.  While you are certainly giving up some freedoms while serving a jail term, probation is a little different simply because you do have some amount of freedom, and along with freedom comes the desire for privacy.  Many individuals serving jail time believe it is much worse to be subjected to probation and have very little privacy for the next one to two years than to face a short jail term and get the entire thing over with. 

Additionally, individuals convicted of any given Dallas County drug crime may be required to undergo rehabilitation as part of a probationary period in lieu of jail time.  Even though jail time is one method of punishment, many judges would rather see individuals go through the rehabilitative process as opposed to serving a quick jail term.  Regardless of whether or not you wish to serve jail time as opposed to probation or vice versa, it is essential that you have a strong advocate by your side to represent your rights.  A solid defense will help to minimize the severity of the consequences you face, even if you are required to serve a minimal amount of jail time or undergo a probationary term.  While there may be a way to have your Dallas County drug charge dismissed or reduced so that you can avoid both jail time and probation, it is important to be prepared for any potential consequence that is associated with a drug conviction under Texas law.

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

 Drug crimes are aggressively prosecuted in Dallas County.  While some drug charges are certainly more serious than others, there is always the potential that jail time or probation may be the ultimate punishment.  As such, it is crucial that you speak with a seasoned Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  Depending on your criminal record and the nature of the drug charge(s) you are facing, there may be alternatives available to you that may keep you out of jail and/or help you to avoid probation.  Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience prosecuting and defending drug crimes.  Mr. Pettit will thoroughly evaluate the facts of your case to determine what course of action to take that will be in your best benefit.  To speak with Jack Pettit about drug charges that you or a loved one is facing, 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.

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.