Posts Tagged ‘Dallas County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney’

Will Texas Lawmakers Seek Mandatory Interlocks after Child’s Death?

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

If you or someone you know has been convicted of DWI, you may be familiar with an ignition interlock device. An ignition interlock device is simply a mechanism that is usually fitted within the dashboard of a person’s car, which requires the owner of the vehicle to provide a breath sample in order to start the car. If the person’s breath sample is above the set alcohol limit, the car’s engine will not start. Once the car is running, the device will randomly prompt the driver for additional breath samples. This feature is to make sure that the driver of the car is indeed the person who gave the initial breath sample. Otherwise, a sober friend could start the car for an intoxicated driver. If the driver of the car does not pass the second or subsequent breath tests while the car is running, the device will log the event and set off an alarm until a clean sample is given or the driver turns off the car.

In Texas, ignition interlock devices are not mandatory for first time drunk driving offenders. Judges, however, do have the ability to order that an offender have a device installed in his or her vehicle. Texas is not the only state that has this policy. Only 21 states have laws that require interlock devices for first time offenders. However, there are people hoping that Texas lawmakers take up the issue after the January death of an 8-year old boy.

Six years ago, a 2-year old boy was involved in a serious car crash after his mother’s sedan was rear-ended by the truck of a drunk driver. As a result of the crash, the boy lost 80% of his brain, which left him in a vegetative state. The driver, Stewart Richardson, had a blood alcohol limit that was almost three times the legal limit. The most horrific part of the story is that this was not Richardson’s first DUI/DWI conviction. Richardson had amassed seven previous drunk driving convictions in at least four states. In one of the cases, Richardson was the cause of a crash that injured five people.

After the accident, the young boy needed constant care. He lived daily strapped to a chair was on oxygen. He suffered from frequent bouts of pneumonia, including at the time of his death. The boy died this January, six years after the accident.

The family fought for tougher drunk driving laws and succeeded in passing what is known as the “Abdallah Kader’s Act.” The law named after their son which passed in 2011, increased the penalties from 10 years to 20 years for intoxication assault cases where the victim is left in a vegetative state. The law also increased the maximum penalty from 6 months to 1 year for DWI cases where the driver has a blood alcohol content of .15 or higher.

At this time, it is uncertain as to whether lawmakers will revisit the issue of mandatory interlock devices for first time drunk driving offenders.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, your first step should be to meet with an experienced Dallas County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned DUI/DWI Defense Attorney can explain your rights and review your case to determine what defenses you may have to the charges against you. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit has what it takes to fight a charge DUI/DWI and win. To see how Mr. Pettit can help you, call our office today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Hundreds of Dallas County residents face driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges each year.  More often than not, individuals charged with DUI or DWI in Dallas County are able to avoid jail time by agreeing to probation or other punitive measures outside of jail.  It isn’t common that individuals fight the DUI or DWI charge against them, because it isn’t always easy to disprove the prosecution’s case, even if the prosecution simply has the facts wrong.

You may have viable defenses available to you that could either convince the prosecution to drop or reduce the DUI or DWI charge against you, or to disprove the prosecution’s case at trial, resulting in a verdict of not guilty.  While no results can be guaranteed in any criminal matter, a highly skilled Dallas County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney can build the strongest defense possible for you to fight the criminal charges against you with the ultimate goal of dismissal.

Defending Your Dallas County DUI/DWI Charge

In order to find you guilty of DUI/DWI, the prosecution must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  Possible defenses to a DUI or DWI charge include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • The officer lacked probable cause to believe you were committing a crime;
  • The officer did not read you your Miranda warning;
  • You were not actually driving the car at the time of the alleged DUI/DWI; and
  • The officer unlawfully arrested you on the mere “belief” that you may be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

No two DUI/DWI cases are alike, and the individual facts of each case will shape what the potential outcome of the case will be.  To determine if you have a solid defense to a DUI/DWI charge in Dallas County, your attorney will have to thoroughly review the facts of your case.  If it cannot be proven that you were actually driving the car while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as alleged by the police officers, then there may be grounds for dismissal of your criminal charge.  Similarly, if you were arrested and the police officer did not read you your Miranda warning, then your DUI/DWI charge may be dismissed, as a failure to read you your Miranda warning is a violation of your rights.

On the other hand, if your attorney cannot find a viable defense such as those listed above, then you may need to take a different approach to overcoming your criminal charge.  Diversion and other programs that allow individuals to stay out of jail may turn out to be the best option for you.

Contact Dallas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule Your Initial Consultation

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in or around Dallas, it is important that you act quickly to speak with a seasoned Dallas County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney.  You may have strong defenses to the criminal charge(s) against you, and it will take the guidance of a skilled Dallas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney to fight your DUI/DWI charge to the fullest extent possible.  With more than thirty years of experience both as a former prosecutor and as a criminal defense attorney, Dallas County DUI/DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit knows what it takes to successfully overcome a DUI/DWI charge in Dallas County.  If you would like to speak with Dallas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit to discuss your options for fighting your DUI/DWI charge, contact our office 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.