Posts Tagged ‘Dallas criminal attorney’

What You Should Know About Public Intoxication in Texas

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Many people view public intoxication charges as embarrassing events that don’t result in anything more than a mere fine as punishment.  This may be true for individuals who have been charged between one and three times, however, any subsequent public intoxication charges can result in serious consequences.  Like speeding tickets, public intoxication charges need to be addressed quickly and in the best possible way to help keep your criminal record clean.

Under Texas law, public intoxication is considered a Class C misdemeanor, and is not simply a minor infraction.  What many people do not realize is that being drunk in public alone does not constitute public intoxication in Texas.  The person must be intoxicated, in public, and deemed to be a danger to him or herself, and/or others.  This aspect of public intoxication can be tricky, so this is why it is extremely important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before paying a fine and treating the incident lightly.

Like any other crime, you may have possible defenses to a charge of public intoxication.  After all, if you are walking down the street, and under the influence, a police officer may say that you were a danger to yourself because you were stumbling and could have fallen and injured yourself.  Perhaps this wasn’t the case at all, and you tripped because of something on the sidewalk – an accident that likely would have occurred had you not been intoxicated at all.  Whether or not you are a danger to yourself and/or others is a slippery slope and is sometimes not worth the fight.  However, with the help of an attorney, you may be able to quickly get rid of the charge, pay a fine simply to keep the charge off your record, and move on.

Further, if you have prior public intoxication charges, you may be able to have such charges expunged, but you will need an attorney who specializes in expunctions in order to pursue such matters.  The reason why it is so important to keep a public intoxication charge or conviction off your record is because you may be required to disclose such charges or convictions on job applications, or applications to attend a college or university.

While many employers and school admissions offices may not treat a public intoxication charge very seriously, like they might with a drug possession charge or a DUI/DWI, it is still in your best interest to have a clean criminal record from the start.  You will not be able to clear your record on your own – it will take the expertise of a Dallas criminal defense attorney to advocate for you to have a clean record.  However, it is very important to understand that expunging your record may be more difficult if you have multiple prior criminal convictions.  It is much easier to seek expunction of a single conviction, but a skilled attorney may be able to take on the challenge of clearing your record entirely.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

A public intoxication charge should not be treated lightly.  If you have been charged with public intoxicated, you will need superior legal representation to ensure the best possible outcome for your particular situation. Dallas criminal defense attorney Jack Pettit has over 30 years of legal experience and has the necessary skill to defend you with whatever criminal charge you are facing.  Mr. Pettit will work diligently to seek the best result and help you move forward with little harm to your criminal record, and will seek expunction of your record whenever possible.  To schedule a consultation with Mr. Pettit, call our office today at (214) 521-4567.  Our office offers bilingual services in both English and Spanish, and also accepts major credit cards.

Arrests for Marijuana Possession are Increasing in Texas

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Despite the recent legislative push in the United States to legalize marijuana, it seems like everywhere you turn, people are being arrested for the possession of this popular drug.  In fact, the number of people arrested for possession of marijuana in Texas and across the nation is being tracked by the FBI, who has released some startling statistics in this regard.  According to a report issued by the FBI, there were 1.5 million arrests for drug possession in the United States in 2011 with about 750,000 of them involving the possession of marijuana.  Upon further review of these numbers, this amounts to approximately one arrest per every 42 seconds in the U.S.

If you believe that these numbers are alarming, you are certainly not alone.  Critics of the nation’s war against drugs say that the large proportion of marijuana related arrests evince the failure of our current drug policies and laws.  Additionally, advocates for legalizing marijuana in the U.S., including former drug enforcement officers, feel that taxpayers are being unfairly stuck with fronting the bill to lock up low level drug offenders.  Such offenders include those that are caught with and arrested for having minimal amounts of marijuana in their possession.

Although some states have proposed legalizing marijuana, Texas maintains a strong stance against those that use, possess or distribute the drug.   Under Texas law, those arrested for marijuana possession could face harsh monetary fines, the suspension of their driver’s license, and even jail time, depending upon the amount of drugs uncovered.  Moreover, having drug related charges on your record can cause other serious consequences, such as difficulty finding gainful employment, being barred from attending reputable educational institutions and more.  Additionally, Marijuana possession in Texas is at least a misdemeanor criminal charge under the law. Although many minor possession charges can be addressed with minimal consequences, more serious felony level charges that include large quantities of marijuana can be much more severe.

If you are facing drug possession charges in Texas, it is important to work with an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney to help you fight for your rights.  Drug charges are no laughing matter and require the most skilled and sophisticated legal representation available.  For over three decades, attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals dealing with all types of drug related charges.

If you would like to speak to Mr. Pettit about your felony or misdemeanor charges, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567.  We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.

Potential Wrongful Convictions Could Spur Review of Additional Cases in Texas

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

In 1994, four Texas women were charged and ultimately convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls, aged 7 and 9.  At the conclusion of their trial, three of the women received 15-year prison sentences, based primarily on the testimony of a physician who examined the girls and claimed that she noticed signs of abuse.  However, during a separate trial, the girls’ aunt and alleged “ringleader” of the crime, Elizabeth Ramirez, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, sparking cries from family members and advocates alike for her timely release.

Specifically, said individuals are pushing for the exoneration of these four women due to the fact that one of the alleged victims eventually recanted her allegations.  Moreover, criminal justice advocates and the women’s criminal defense attorneys both disagree with the medical testimony provided by the girls’ examining physician.  During the trial, said doctor asserted that both of the young girls evinced signs of “healed trauma”, which is often indicative of sexual abuse.  However, when cross-examined by defense attorneys, the physician could not substantiate how long the scars were there and whether the original wounds were accidentally inflicted.

Given the above, advocates for the women’s release from prison are pushing to obtain pictures from the girls’ physical examinations in order to determine whether the doctor’s conclusions were based upon credible evidence.  While the four women, including Ms. Ramirez, remain in prison, their family, friends and defense attorneys continue to work tirelessly to get them out of jail.

Overall, this case has generated a significant amount of attention in Texas and across the country.  According to the Innocent Project of Texas, this case should have a significant impact on other sexual assault cases in the event that these women are freed.  In other words, not only could trigger the review of these types of cases, it could result in some of them getting overturned.  They also note that Ms. Ramirez’s case represents several others where insufficient and erroneous evidence led to wrongful convictions.   Notwithstanding, the harsh reality is that only twenty sexual assault cases in Texas have been overturned in the past, demonstrating that getting convicted sex offenders exonerated is a challenging process.

If you are facing a wrongful conviction, it is important to understand that you have legal rights.  The first step that you should take in this regard is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows how to handle the complexities of these types of cases.  Attorney Jack Pettit will take the time to investigate your case and develop a strategic defense to fight for the dismissal of your charges.  For over thirty years, attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals dealing with all types of criminal charges.

If you would like to speak to Mr. Pettit about appealing your case, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567. We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.