Posts Tagged ‘Dallas County DUI Defense Attorney’

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.

Texas DUI Charges – What is an Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Texas can result in jail time, the imposition of fines, probation, the suspension of your Texas driver’s license, and/or the requirement to perform community service.  Many individuals who are convicted of driving under the influence are without a Texas driver’s license for quite a long period of time.  However, each DUI charge has its own unique set of facts and circumstances, and the penalties for each DUI charge may be different.  As such, it is very important to consult with a Dallas County DUI Defense Attorney no matter how minor or serious you believe your DUI charge is.  With the help of an attorney, you may be able to avoid a DUI conviction altogether. 

Overcoming Your DUI Conviction

 If you were unable to have your DUI charge dismissed, and you were ultimately convicted, you are now picking up the pieces and trying to move forward.  As part of that process, you will want to start driving again as soon as possible.  Texas does allow convicted individuals to start driving again, but restrictions may be placed on your ability to drive freely at any given time.  After you have completed the suspension period, you may begin to start driving again on the condition that you have an ignition interlock device (IID) attached to the ignition of your car.  This device is a small breathalyzer that you must breathe into before the car will start.  If the breathalyzer is clean, your car will start.  If there is any alcohol detected in your breath, the car will not start.

In order to obtain the ignition interlock device, you will have to pay a license fee to the Texas Department of Public Safety in addition to other fees.  This is certainly a cost that may make it difficult for some Texas driver’s to afford, however, it may be the best option available to you, as you otherwise would not be driving at all.  If you are able to have the ignition interlock device and you later have your Texas driver’s license suspended or revoked, you may no longer be able to drive with an ignition interlock device.  As such, you should work alongside a seasoned Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney who can help you make the right decisions if you are facing a DUI charge or prior DUI conviction.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Because Texas law enforcement takes DUI convictions very seriously, you need to be prepared for what to expect if you are pulled over, and what the consequences are if you are ultimately convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Overcoming a DUI conviction can be stressful, but an ignition interlock device can allow you to drive much sooner than you may have expected.  To make sure that you are aware of all of your options when facing a Texas DUI charge, it is imperative that you consider how a highly skilled Dallas County DUI Defense Attorney can help you build a strong defense to your DUI charge.  Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor and Dallas DUI Defense Attorney with more than thirty years of experience in the criminal justice system.  Jack Pettit will work diligently to ensure you are taking all steps necessary to reach a reasonable outcome given the individual facts of your DUI charge.  If you would like to speak with Jack Pettit about your DUI charge, 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.