Posts Tagged ‘Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney’

Texas Man Uses His Story to Tell the Dangers of Drunk Driving to Young People

Monday, June 1st, 2015

It’s pretty much a fact that all parents worry about their kids. When they are young they fuss over every “boo-boo” and “ouchie.” As children grow, so do their parents’ worries. Are they doing well in school? Are they hanging out with the right crowd? No matter how well a parent thinks he or she did at raising his or her child, or how smart he or she knows his or her child to be, all parents still worry that their child may do something stupid. Something that could harm them not just today or tomorrow, but down the road and possibly forever.

Jenny Carter is a mom who one night, received a phone call that would forever change her life. The caller informed her that her son, Sean Carter, had been in an accident. The caller then proceeded to tell her the litany of injuries her son had suffered. She was informed he would be taken to a Dallas hospital, celebrated for its trauma center. At the hospital, her son was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury and laid in a coma for 39 days.

Sean Carter was 22 years old when he made a decision that would forever transform his life. He was a college honor student, who had plans to attend law school. But all that changed one night when Sean, too drunk to drive, decided to hop a ride with a friend that was also intoxicated. On the way home, his drunk buddy wrapped his Dodge truck around a tree, trapping Sean inside. As a result of the accident, Sean cannot talk and relies on a motorized wheelchair to get him around.

Every day Sean lives life knowing that if he had just made the decision, not to get into a vehicle with a drunk driver, that his life would be completely different today. If he would have made a better decision, today he would be able to walk and talk, most likely have his law degree and his independence. Fortunately for Sean, the accident did not rob him of his mental sharpness. While he cannot talk, it has not stopped him and his mother from taking his message on the road. Sean now earns a living doing public speaking events. The events are most often geared towards young people about bluntly tell about the dangers of drunk driving. Through the use of a computer app, Sean is able to “speak” and spread his story.

It is a message Texas teens need to hear. In 2013, the state of Texas led the nation with the highest number of deaths caused by drunk drivers at 1,337 people. It is important for every teen to understand the dangers of drinking and driving, and the importance of never getting into a car with a driver that has been drinking.

If you were arrested and charged with DWI, take the important first step of making an appointment to meet with a skilled Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Even as a young person, a charge of driving while intoxicated not only has the potential to land you in jail, but it also has the likelihood of drastically altering your life. Therefore, even if this is your first DWI arrest, you must take the charges seriously. Do not make the assumption that the court system will take it easy on you because of your age. For more than 30 years, Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation to clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit will explain your rights and make sure that all your possible defenses are explored. Call the Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney Reports: Former Texas Sports Writer and Well-Known Author Racks up 10th DWI and More

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Texans who hear the name “Jim Dent” may remember him as a sports writer who once wrote for newspapers in the Dallas and Fort Worth area. Some may even recall the decade Dent spent covering the Dallas Cowboys football team. However, in recent years, Dent has become most well-known as an author, writing books about football. Some of Dent’s more well-known works include “Twelve Mighty Orphans,” “The Kids Got it Right: How the Texas All-Stars Kicked Down Racial Walls,” and the New York Times best seller, “The Junction Boys.”

Despite what would be considered a successful writing career to most people, to law enforcement officials, Dent is even more infamous for his history of drunk driving. Over a period of 32 years, the 62-year old has wracked up a total of ten DWI convictions. Dent has been arrested for and convicted of drunk driving in four states including Arkansas, Nevada, Oklahoma and Texas. In Texas alone, Dent has been convicted of DWI in five counties, namely: Brazos, Collin, Dallas, Denton and Williamson.

Dent’s most recent DWI charges occurred in October 2012 and May 2013. In the October 2012 case, Dent apparently tried to pull his ex-girlfriend from her car. When he was unsuccessful, he crashed his pickup truck into her car—sending the vehicle crashing into the neighbor’s garage door. In the May 2013 incident, Dent was reported to police by a witness who had noticed Dent driving recklessly. Dent was arrested outside a Walgreens pharmacy after he had purchased wine and beer.

In November 2013, Dent pled guilty to the two DWI charges. However, fearing the stiff penalties he would face as a habitual offender, Dent fled to Mexico while out on bond in late January 2014. While in Mexico, Dent lived partially on profits from sales of his previous books. Dent also published and started promoting his newest work—“Manziel Mania”—about former Texas A&M college football player Johnny Manziel. Dent stayed in Mexico until late January 2014.

About one year after he first fled to Mexico, Dent was detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents near San Diego, California. Thereafter, Dent was transported to Texas in mid-February where he has remained without bond. Finally, in mid-April, Dent was sentenced for his 2012 and 2013 DWIs.

For the October 2012 charge, he was sentenced to 8 years in prison and 10 years—the maximum for his May 2013 DWI. Dent also picked up additional felony charges for bailing jumping and failure to appear in connection with his fleeing the country to avoid prosecution. Dent received 10 years for each of those charges. Fortunately for Dent all four sentences will be served at the same time. Therefore, Dent will only have to serve half his sentence, or 5 years, before he will become eligible for parole.

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving as a habitual offender, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment to meet with a seasoned Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. The stakes are much higher for individuals who are considered “habitual offenders,” and you could be facing a lengthy time behind bars. Only an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney understands the law and can work to protect your rights. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Pettit knows the stiff penalties habitual offenders can face. Mr. Pettit will draw upon his experience to make sure that you receive the quality and aggressive representation you need. To schedule a free 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 DWI Defense Attorney Warns Parents: Do Not Let a DWI Ruin a Bright Future

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

One of the biggest events in the life of any teenager is graduation day. Graduation is not only a momentous occasion for the teen, but also, for his or her parents. It is a time not only to celebrate and share the excitement about what the future will hold, but it also is a time to reminisce with friends and family about the journey that has brought him or her to this day.

While graduation can be a memorable day for a teen and his or her family, unfortunately it can also quickly turn tragic. The day usually starts with the graduation ceremony, but it can extend well into the evening with teens hopping from one graduation party to the next. For many teens graduation day is seen as a milestone where the teen is officially an adult in the eyes of his or her parents. While some teens handle this new found status in stride, other teens let this “power” go to their heads. For these teens this new found “freedom” translates into thinking that he or she no longer has to play by the rules. Some teens choose to engage in underage drinking and even drinking and driving.

As a parent, you want your child to make good decisions. You may even feel that he or she is more than capable of doing so now that he or she has graduated from high school. However, no matter how book smart or street smart your teen may be, it is important as a parent to provide guidance especially at this particular juncture in a teen’s life. The following is some information that all parents of teenagers to be well aware of:

  • Underage drinking is illegal in the state of Texas. Do not expect the law to cut your teen any breaks because it was graduation day and he or she was just “blowing off a little steam.”
  • Take some time to talk to your teen well in advance of graduation. Let him or her know that underage drinking is illegal and there are serious legal consequences if he or she engages in such behavior. Many teens are simply not aware of the ramifications of underage drinking and/or driving. It can cause a teen to not only seriously injure him or herself, but also to lose valuable college scholarships and possibly even admission into their chosen college or university.
  • There are some parents of teens that may be “hosting” unchaperoned parties. These parents think that have an adult free party is a way for his or her teen and his or her friends to enjoy alcohol without the parents suffering the consequences of providing alcohol to minors. However, this is not just not true. Be aware that your teen may be invited to such a party and take the time to make sure your teen understands your expectations about attending this type of party.
  • Lastly, make sure that your teen understands that drinking and driving is NEVER an option under any circumstances. Nor is getting into a car with a person who has consumed any amount of alcohol.

As a parent, receiving a phone call from local police informing you that your teenager has been arrested and charged with DWI can be the stuff of nightmares. However, do not panic. One of the most important things you can do to help your child is to schedule an appointment with an experienced Texas DUI/DWI Defense Attorney. Only a skilled Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney can provide your teenager with the aggressive representation he or she needs in order to safeguard his or her rights and protect his or her future as well. As a former prosecutor, attorney Jack Pettit has the experience and skills to defend your child’s rights. To schedule a free and confidential consultation contact the Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567.

Texas Man Sentenced to Life in Prison for Habitual DWI

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

The vast majority of drivers are aware of the stiff penalties they can face if convicted of driving while intoxicated, or DWI. However, many of these same drivers are not aware of the severe punishment that drivers who are considered to be “habitual DWI offenders” can face if convicted of a DWI related offense. Just like all other crimes, as the number of prior offenses increases, so does the penalty. For example, a first time convicted shoplifter will receive a less severe punishment than a third or fourth time convicted shoplifter.  This same basic rule also applies to DWI. Whereas a first time DWI conviction is considered to be a Class A misdemeanor, a third time DWI conviction is a third degree felony.

Under the Texas Penal Code, a habitual DWI offender (or “habitual offender”) is defined as a person charged with DWI who is shown to have two previous felony convictions. If a person has a clean criminal record with the exception of DWI convictions, he or she would not be considered to be a habitual offender until he or she faced his or her fifth DWI charge. This is because the first two convictions would be considered misdemeanors and the third and fourth convictions would be the felonies needed to be considered a habitual offender. However, if a person has one or two prior unrelated felony charges on his or her record, then a fourth or even a third DWI charge would allow the prosecutor to charge the person as a habitual offender.

Unlike a regular felony DWI charge, a habitual DWI offender faces an even more severe penalty. The law allows a judge or jury to sentence a convicted habitual offender to 25 to 99 years, or life in prison. Such was the case recently in McLennan County, where a 48 year old man was sentenced to life in prison for his seventh DWI conviction.

People are often surprised to learn that the DWI charge that triggered his life sentence did not involve a serious injury or fatality. Rather, back in October 2012 the man according to police and observers was slumped over his steering wheel at an intersection in the middle of the afternoon, with his car running. After the man sat through three green lights, another motorist contacted the police. The man, who had to be awoken by police, had a large can of beer between his legs and his vehicle smelled strongly of alcohol. The man failed police sobriety tests and blew a .277 on a breathalyzer—more than three times the legal limit of .08.

The man had four prior misdemeanor DWI charges on his record and was sent to prison in 1998 and 2005 for two felony charges. As part of his current sentence, the man will have to serve 15 years before he will be eligible for parole—at the age of 63.

If you have been arrested and charged with habitual drunk driving, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. As a habitual offender, the stakes are much higher and you too may be facing a lengthy prison sentence. Only a seasoned Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney can thoroughly review your case and protect your rights. DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has represented countless persons charged with DWI. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit understands the severity with which the courts punish habitual offenders and will do everything he can to make sure you receive quality legal representation. Contact the Law Office of Jack Pettit 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.

Texas College Students: Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Explains How a DWI Can Impact Your Future

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

Regardless if you are 21 or 45 years of age, being charged with DWI is a serious offense that can have life-changing consequences. However, when most people are charged with DWI they are primarily concerned with the consequences they could face from the Texas legal system. For instance, a first time DWI conviction in Texas can result in fines, loss of driving privileges and even jail time. However, after the fines and attorney’s fees are paid and the individual regains his or her driving privileges, most individuals are surprised to realize how the DWI continues to impact his or her life.

A DWI charge and/or conviction means that the individual now has a permanent criminal record. This means that anyone who performs a background check can discover the DWI charge and/or conviction. Unlike an older adult, a criminal record can have a unique impact on a college student (or high school students looking to apply to college in the near future). A DWI charge or conviction can affect the following aspects of a student’s life:

  • College Admissions: While many schools will not deny admissions to a person with a DWI there are some schools that will. Especially if the prospective student lies on his or her application about having been charged with a crime or having a criminal record.
  • Student status: If a person is already a student most college and university Student Codes of Conduct require that a student report any criminal charges to the school within a given amount of time. Certain institutions may put a student on probation or temporary suspension because of a DWI charge, while others may expel a student for a DWI conviction. Some schools offer students charged or convicted of DWI to avoid suspension or expulsion if the student completes a school approved alcohol and drug education program.
  • Housing: Students with a DWI charge or conviction could find themselves with difficulty finding a place to live. At certain schools, a student with a criminal record may be denied student housing. Students applying for private off-campus housing may find it more difficult to find a landlord who will rent to them.
  • Scholarships and Financial Aid: A student may lose his or her scholarship and/or a portion of his or her financial aid because he or she now has a criminal record.
  • Study Time: Most first-time DWI convictions will result in a temporary loss of driving privileges. If a student relied on driving to get to and from classes, he or she will have to find other transportation. The student will also have to pay attorney’s fees and fines, which may have him or her spending more time working at a part-time time—that could cut into his or her study time.
  • Job opportunities: Whether a student is looking for an internship, summer employment or his or her real first job—having a DWI on his or her criminal record may deter some employers from hiring him or her. Some employers see a DWI as a mark on the person’s character.

Remember, that a DWI is completely preventable. However, if you are a college student or prospective student who has been arrested and charged with drunk driving, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Only a skilled DWI Defense Attorney can make sure that your rights are protected and the charges against you are fully investigated. Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit understands the impact that a DWI can have on a student’s future. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit knows what it takes to fight a DWI charge and win. Call the Law Office of Jack Pettit 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.

Texas Drunk Driving Campaign Targets Young Hispanic Men

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Driving while intoxicated or DWI is not just problematic, it is a real problem for many states, including Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, (TxDOT) approximately every 20 minutes a person is injured or killed in an alcohol-related motor vehicle accident in Texas. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Texas traffic-related fatalities is caused by drinking and driving.

One group that has made up a significant number of DWIs in recent years is Latinos or Hispanics. According to recent census data, Hispanics make up approximately 38 percent of the state’s population. In 2009, Hispanics represented more than 30 percent of all DWI driver fatalities in the state. As such, the TxDOT sponsors a state-wide campaign each year that focuses on raising awareness in the Hispanic community of the dangers of drinking and driving.

This year the TxDOT’s campaign’s target audience will be young Hispanic males. It is estimated that close to 50 percent of DWI accidents that occurred in Texas back in 2014 involving men between the ages of 17 and 34 were Hispanic males. These crashes were the cause of more than 600 serious injuries and approximately 275 deaths.

A 2010 report completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) entitled “Special Report on Race/Ethnicity and Impaired Driving,” found that Hispanics as a group are less likely to believe that DWI is a safety problem. The report also discovered that Hispanics, among other groups, are less likely to believe that a person who has been drinking will actually be caught driving while intoxicated.

The goal of this year’s campaign is to increase awareness and save families the heartbreaking loss that is all too common with DWI. The slogan for the campaign will be “Drink. Drive. Got to Jail. De Veras.” The phrase “de veras” in English means “for real” and is commonly used by Hispanics when responding to an expression of disbelief. The seven week campaign will run through May 23, 2015. As part of the campaign, an interactive truck will be at different events that draw large crowds of young Hispanics, such as music festivals and car shows. The Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce and the Association of Hispanic Municipal Officials will be a part of the TxDOT’s campaign efforts as well.

The campaign will try to send the message to young Hispanic males not to drive if they have been drinking. Rather, they need to have a sober ride home or stay put. Emphasis will be put on having young people designate a sober driver before anyone starts drinking, rather than electing a “most” sober driver at the end of night. The campaign will also encourage young Hispanic men to take the keys away from anyone who is about to drive who has been drinking.

Being charged with driving while intoxicated or DWI is can negatively impact your life, so it is important take the charge seriously. Your first step once arrested should be to contact an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Only a highly skilled Texas Drunk Driving Campaign Targets Young Hispanic Men Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney can properly investigate the charges against you and challenge any mistakes made by the arresting officer. For more than 30 years, Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit will explain your rights and make sure that all possible defenses are explored. Call the Law Office of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free confidential consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

Drugged Driving: How Rx Drugs Can Lead to a Texas DWI

Friday, March 20th, 2015

It is true that most adults can easily enjoy a single 12 oz. beer, 5 oz. glass of wine, or 1.5 oz. of 80-proof liquor and still be able to safely and legally operate a motor vehicle. This is because for most adults, the human body can process the amount of liquor in a standard drink and he or she will still have a blood alcohol concentration below the legal limit of .08. However, if an adult is on a prescription medication that does not mix well with alcohol, he or she may not be able to safely consume any amount of alcohol and drive, even if he or she has a BAC well below the legal limit. This is because, unlike alcohol, there is no “legal limit” when it comes to drugs of any kind.

Many Texans are unaware that the same medications that they rely on to keep them feeling well, could very well land them in hot water with the law. It is a very dangerous notion to rely on the assumption that if you are simply “following doctor’s orders” that will be okay. This is simply not true. If you are pulled over and arrested for “drugged driving”, being able to prove that you were taking all of your medications exactly as prescribed by your physician, is not a valid defense in Texas. Instead you can and most likely will be charged with DWI.

If you are taking any prescription or even over the counter medications, you need to be aware that the law does not care, so to speak, if you were doing so properly or if you were abusing the drug. Plain and simple, drugged driving is against the law. To avoid a possible arrest for DWI, remember the following before taking any medication(s) and driving:

  • Never drive until you know how a particular medication will affect you. Whenever you receive a new medication, whether over the counter or prescription, it is important to learn how the medication will affect you. While a list of possible side effects and warnings usually accompanies all medications, different medications can affect different people quite differently. If you experience any side effects that would impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle safely, do not drive while taking this medication. You may also want to speak with your physician or pharmacist about prescribing a different medication.
  • Medications and alcohol do not mix well. While you may be able to take a particular medication without experiencing any side effects that would interfere with your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, this could change if you mix that same medication with alcohol. Since alcohol is itself a drug, it should not be mixed with any medication(s) without consulting first with your pharmacist and/or physician.
  • Before combining medications consult with your physician and/or pharmacist. Just like alcohol, combining a prescription drug with another prescription drug or over-the-counter drug can be a big mistake. Again, the best rule of thumb is to always consult with a physician and/or pharmacist before mixing medications and/or changing your medication routine.

If you have been arrested and charged with drugged driving, the first thing you need to do is to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned DWI Defense Attorney will be able to thoroughly review your case and determine if you have any defenses to the charges against you. As a former prosecutor, Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit understands exactly what needs to be done to fight a DWI and win. To determine how Mr. Pettit can help you, call The Law Office of Jack Pettit 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.

A Dallas County DWI Could Have Your Irish Eyes Crying, Not Smiling this St. Patrick’s Day

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

Unlike Thanksgiving and Labor Day, most folks still have to go to work on March 17th. However, that does not take anything away from this well-beloved holiday. St. Patrick’s Day influences even the non-Irish to put on a little green and be Irish for the day. While this holiday means a good time for most people, it can have some people crying the next day.

Historically, St. Patrick’s Day was considered a religious holiday where drinking was not allowed. Over the years, things changed. However, in the United States, each year too many individuals choose to drink and tend to overdo it. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who binge drink are 14 times more likely to be charged with drunk driving. While drinking and driving is never a good combination, on St. Patrick’s Day the statistics speak for themselves:

  • 276 lives were lost on St. Patrick’s Day alone from drunk driving between 2009 and 2013
  • 31 people were killed in St. Patrick’s Day drunk driving crashes in 2013
  • 2 of every 5 crash fatalities on St. Patrick’s Day involved a drunk driver
  • 55% of crashes between the hours of midnight and 5:59 a.m. on March 18, 2013 involved a drunk driver

If those statistics are not enough to convince you not to drink and drive this St. Patrick’s Day, consider the following potential consequences of a DWI:

  • Increased insurance premiums;
  • Loss of driving privileges;
  • Criminal record;
  • Time spent in jail;
  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Court costs & fines;
  • Total your car in a crash;
  • Loss of employment for employers that require employees to have a clean driving record or criminal record;
  • Injure yourself or others in a car crash;
  • Kill yourself or others in a car crash;
  • Financial ruin due to personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit; and
  • Family/emotional strain due to the above.

The best advice to avoid a DWI this St. Patrick’s Day is to be smart. If you plan to drink this holiday, do not drive. If you plan to drive, do not drink. It is as simple as that. If you do plan to drink plan for a safe way to get home. Many cities and towns throughout Texas offer sober ride programs on St. Patrick’s Day. If you cannot find such a program, you can always call a cab. Remember being safe and DWI free this holiday is all about planning and nothing to do with luck.

Even if you choose not to drink this St. Patrick’s Day there are plenty of festive activities to do. For area residents, be sure to check out the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival—a Dallas tradition for more than 30 years. As a sober driver, you could also be someone’s lucky charm this St. Patrick’s Day. Serve as a designated driver for friends or family wishing to drink or take the keys away from a driver who has been drinking and should not be driving.

Being arrested and charged with drunk driving is not a way to celebrate any holiday. That is why it is important to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible. Only a veteran DWI Defense Attorney can investigate the charges against you and challenge any mistakes made. Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County for more than 30 years. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit understands what it takes to fight DWI charges. Call the Law Offices of Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a free consultation. Our office provides services to clients in both English and Spanish. Major credit cards are accepted as well.

A Hefty Sentence is Handed Down to a Texas Man Charged with DWI

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The news media recently reported the story of a Texas man who was arrested and charged with DWI. The story is both shocking and sad. Whether you think he received a fair sentence all depends on the person who is being asked. After reading the story, you can decide for yourself. Do you think the man received a fair sentence or was the sentence overly harsh? Keep reading to learn more…

In August of 2014, a Houston man was arrested and charged with DWI and threatening to retaliate against an arresting officer. His arrest stemmed from a traffic accident. Authorities were called to the scene after motorist(s) called 911 to report the incident. A tow truck arrived on the scene before police arrived. The tow truck at the scene noticed a wrecked pickup truck. The driver of the truck requested that the tow truck driver tow the truck. He also asked the tow truck driver to take him home before police arrived, so as to avoid a potential DWI. The tow truck driver refused.

When police arrived at the scene, the truck was still present. However, the driver of the truck was not. Police later found the driver, a 64-year old man, in a nearby drainage ditch. The man was in water up to his waist and was attempting to hide from police. The man was found to have a blood alcohol concentration of .217, which is more than 2.5 times the legal limit in Texas. The man was arrested for DWI. After his arrest, the man violently threatened police. He said he would kill not only the arresting officer, but also his children, wife and mother.

At the time of the trial, the jury was aware of the above information. Additionally, the jury knew that the man had been arrested for DWI at least two times prior to his August DWI arrest.

In Texas a DWI jury trial is usually made up of two main phases. During the first phase, the jury is asked to determine whether the accused is guilty or not guilty of the crime(s) with which he or she was charged. If the jury finds the accused guilty of the charged offense(s), then the trial moves to the sentencing phase. During the sentencing phase, the jury may be given additional information that the jury can use to determine an appropriate sentence. Some of this new information may include the accused’s criminal past.

In this case, the jury learned during sentencing that the man had actually been arrested for DWI on nine prior occasions, dating back to 1981. As a habitual offender the man faced between 25 years and life for each charge. After three hours of deliberation, the jury recommended that the man be sentenced to two concurrent life sentences. As such, the 64 year old man will not be eligible for parole until he is 80 years old.

If you have been arrested and charged with drunk driving, the first thing you need to do is to make an appointment to meet with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Only a seasoned Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney can explain your rights and review your legal options with you. DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit has represented countless persons charged with DWI. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit understands what it takes to contest a charge of DWI and win. Contact the Law Offices of Jack Pettit 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.

7 Reasons to Add “Do Not Drink and Drive” to Your List of New Year’s Resolutions

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

The holidays are in full swing and another year is almost complete. This means that soon we will ringing in another new year! For many people, the start of the New Year means the time honored tradition of a making New Year’s resolutions. Popular choices for resolutions include: losing weight, quitting smoking, saving money and joining a gym. While these can be great choices, everyone should strongly consider adding “do not drink and drive” to his or her list as well.  If you need convincing, here are seven reasons why you should not drink and drive in 2015:

  • Makes you a dangerous driver: Alcohol as you may know is a depressant. This means that alcohol can interfere with your ability to drive. Even just one drink can slow down your reaction time and interfere with your judgment. A driver who is under the influence of alcohol will react slower and possibly not in time to avoid a road hazard that a sober drive would be able to avoid. Alcohol also has a tendency to make people overconfident, which can not only put a driver in danger behind the wheel, but anyone else on the road as well.
  • Criminal charges: Drunk driving is a serious offense and as such, severe consequences can result even if it a motorist’s first offense. In Dallas, a first offense DWI carries a fine of up to $2,000 and 72 hours to 180 days in jail. If found guilty, the person will also have a criminal record. Once a person has a criminal record, he or she may be excluded from certain job opportunities.
  • Expensive: A DWI not only comes with fines, it also will cost thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees, court costs, and fees to retain your driver’s license. Once you have a DWI on your record, your car insurance premiums may also increase dramatically.
  • Loss of driver’s license: Motorists who are found guilty of DWI will typically lose their driving privileges for up to one year. For many people, loss of their driving privileges impacts every facet of their life. Especially if they do not live in an area where they can rely on public transportation.
  • Loss of job: For some people, the loss of driver’s license or the fact that they now have a criminal record can negatively impact their job and could result in the total loss of their employment. For example, professional drivers, such as truckers, stand a good chance of losing their commercial licenses if convicted of a DWI.
  • Loss of scholarship/financial aid: In some cases a criminal record can exclude a student from receiving scholarship funds or even financial aid.
  • A lifetime of guilt: When a motorist is driving under the influence of alcohol, he or she not only jeopardizes his or her own safety, but also that of his or her passengers, fellow motorists, and even pedestrians. You do not want to live with a lifetime of guilt, knowing that your decision to drink and drive, seriously injured or killed another person.

Choosing to drink and drive is a bad idea. However, if you were arrested and charged with a DWI the first you need to do is to speak with an experienced Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney. Do not make the mistake to hire just any attorney. DWI is a serious offense and you need a skilled DWI Defense Attorney who will carefully review the facts of your case and determine what defenses you may have to the charges. For more than 30 years, Attorney Jack Pettit has provided aggressive representation for clients in Dallas and throughout Dallas County. As a former prosecutor, Jack Pettit knows how to fight a DWI charge. 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.