Posts Tagged ‘Dallas DUI attorney’

The Consequences of Serving Alcohol to a Texas Minor

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Drinking-related charges in Texas range in severity, but each and every charge that results in a conviction can leave you with a criminal record that will follow you for years.  Most Texans are aware of the seriousness of DWI and DUI charges, but many people are not aware of what happens if they are charged with serving alcohol to a minor.

 Under Texas law, serving alcohol to a minor is a Class A misdemeanor, which is the most serious of all misdemeanors.  If you are convicted of serving alcohol to a minor, at most you face a fine of up to $4,000 and jail time of up to one year, or both.  Further, if convicted, you will have your driver’s license suspended for 180 days, even if no motor vehicle was involved in your alleged crime.

 If you are 21 years of age or older, and you are not a parent or guardian of the minor who is provided with alcohol, you may be held responsible for any harm the minor has caused while being intoxicated if you knowingly provide alcohol to the minor or knowingly allow the minor to be served alcohol on property that you own or lease.  Therefore, not only are there criminal consequences to serving alcohol to a minor, but there are consequences that could leave you facing a civil lawsuit.

If you have an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney by your side, you may be able to avoid or limit the punishment that you are facing when charged with serving alcohol to a minor.  Further, an attorney may be able to get the charge dismissed for various reasons.  An attorney will thoroughly review your charge, including all of the available evidence, to determine if there are viable grounds for having your charge dismissed.  Therefore, the best way to protect your rights is to consult with, and allow an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf to ensure you are resolving the criminal matter in a way that avoids a blemish on your criminal record.

While an attorney can certainly help to dismiss or reduce the charge of serving alcohol to a minor, it is important to understand that multiple convictions of the same or similar crimes may make it difficult for your attorney to have your current charge lowered or dismissed.  This is why it is especially important to address a first-time charge with the assistance of qualified legal counsel.  Many individuals don’t fully understand the consequences of a criminal conviction, and believe they can defend themselves in court.  More often than not, the results of a criminal charge are much worse for those who do not retain legal counsel, and your chances of overcoming the challenge of facing a criminal conviction are much better if you have an attorney standing by your side.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with serving alcohol to a minor, you should speak with a Dallas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  This criminal charge may not seem as serious as other alcohol-related crimes, but the consequences could be more severe than you think.  With the help of a seasoned Dallas criminal defense attorney, you may be able to avoid the permanent negative consequences of being convicted of serving alcohol to a minor.  Dallas DUI Attorney Jack Pettit has more than three decades of experience, both as a prosecutor and criminal defense attorney, giving him a unique ability to help his clients reach the best result possible to their unfortunate circumstances.  To speak with Mr. Pettit about your case, contact our office today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule an initial consultation.  Jack Pettit conveniently provides legal services in both English and Spanish.  Our office also accepts major credit cards.

Texas Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and Being Charged With a DWI or DUI

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Being charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol results in potential devastating consequences that can leave you without the ability to drive legally, and leaving you with a criminal record.  DWI or DUI charges are especially troublesome for commercial drivers who rely on their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) as a means of employment.  For the reasons described below, you may be facing the suspension or revocation of your CDL, effectively limiting or eliminating your ability to work in the same career field.  With the assistance of a seasoned Dallas criminal defense attorney, you may be able to avoid the suspension or revocation of your CDL.

What You Need to Know If You Are Suspected of DWI or DUI

Under Texas law, commercial drivers give implied consent to undergo blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) testing by breathalyzer, by blood, or by urine if they are suspected of DWI or DUI while operating their commercial vehicles.  Many commercial drivers may not be aware of this requirement, leaving them surprised when they are asked to submit to BAC testing.  If you are pulled over while operating your commercial vehicle, and are pulled over on suspicion of DWI or DUI and you refuse to undergo BAC testing, your CDL will be suspended for at least one year, even if you are never charged with or convicted of DWI or DUI.

As a commercial driver, you should also know that your CDL may be suspended for one year if you have a BAC of .04 while operating a commercial vehicle in a public place, and .08 while operating a non-commercial vehicle in a public place.  Your CDL is suspended even if you are not later charged with or convicted of DWI or DUI.  Commercial drivers are held to a higher standard in terms of safety requirements, therefore, the consequences of violating Texas law by refusing a BAC test, failing a BAC test, being charged with DWI or DUI, and/or being convicted of DWI or DUI are much more serious than they are for any ordinary non-commercial driver.

Why You Need a Highly Experienced Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney

 If you are a commercial driver and have been charged with DWI or DUI, the sooner you act to fight the charge, the sooner an attorney will be able to resolve the matter in the most feasible way possible in order to limit the negative impact a conviction will have on your employment and your criminal record.  With the help of a devoted and skilled criminal defense attorney, you may be able to avoid the permanent revocation of your CDL. 

 It is important to understand, however, that your CDL is at risk even if you are not formally charged with DWI or DUI.  Your license may not be permanently revoked, but it may be suspended for quite a long period of time, leaving you with the inability to work as a commercial driver.  Therefore, it is essential that you do everything you can to avoid the suspension or revocation of your CDL.

Contact Dallas County Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

The suspension or revocation of your CDL can leave you unemployed and with a criminal record that will make it very difficult to obtain employment as a commercial driver in the future.  If you have been charged with DWI or DUI, you should contact an experienced Dallas County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Dallas DUI Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than three decades of experience in the criminal justice system.  Mr. Pettit dedicates his practice to defending his clients’ rights to the fullest, helping them keep their CDLs and helping them avoid a serious criminal conviction.  To schedule a consultation with Mr. Pettit, contact our office today by calling (214) 521-4567.  We offer bilingual services in both English and Spanish, and accept major credit cards.

Dallas DUI Attorney Answers Do I Have a Defense to My DUI or DWI Charge?

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), or driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you likely have a tough fight ahead of you regardless of whether you are guilty or innocent.  Each DUI and DWI charge has its own set of unique facts that attorneys can evaluate to determine if the charged person has any potential defenses to the charge.  Regardless of whether or not you believe you may be guilty, the police may have made a mistake in the process of pulling you over, searching you and/or your vehicle, and arresting you.  Further, the prosecutor may have made a mistake when actually charging you after looking at the police reports and other available evidence.

Common Defenses to DUI and DWI Charges

You may have a legal defense to a DUI or DWI charge in one or more of the following situations:

  • You were pulled over with no legal justification, meaning a police officer did not have authority to pull you over in the first place (i.e., you were pulled over based on race or ethnicity);
  • No probable cause existed to arrest you for a DUI or DWI, meaning that there was nothing significant to suggest you were actually under the influence when you were pulled over; and
  • You were not provided your Miranda Warnings as part of being arrested

In addition to these potential defenses, you may also be able to present factual defenses to a DUI or DWI charge.  For example, if you failed a field sobriety test because you were not able to walk straight, or were off balance, you may have a reasonable justification for such behavior that has nothing to do with being under the influence.  Explanations for failing a field sobriety test or Breathalyzer test include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • You did not fully understand the instructions that were given to you;
  • You were sleep-deprived when you were pulled over and not able to perform the tasks properly;
  • You had physical or mental impairments that prevented your ability to successfully complete the test; and
  • Your eyes appeared to be bloodshot for health reasons, such as allergies, being sick, or irritation from wearing contact lenses

Whatever legal defense you believe you may have, or whatever factual scenario you believe explains your behavior, an attorney will be able to evaluate your case to determine if a court is likely to dismiss your DUI or DWI charge.  The innocent do not deserve to suffer at the expense of a police officer’s misconduct, or because of conduct that was mistakenly believed to be that of driving under the influence.  Even if you are innocent, the steps to presenting and arguing defenses can be difficult and time-consuming.  It takes a seasoned Dallas criminal defense attorney to determine what the best course of action is to take for your particular case.

Contact Dallas DUI/DWI Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Being charged with a DUI or DWI can have devastating consequences for you.  To find out if you may have been wrongfully charged or have a good defense to a charge, you need the assistance of a qualified Dallas criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  With more than 30 years of experience, Attorney Jack Pettit has the skill required to help you fight your DUI or DWI charge.  Mr. Pettit devotes a significant portion of his practice to defending clients charged with DUIs and DWIs, and will use his expertise to defend your rights to the fullest.  To speak with Mr. Pettit, contact our office today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule a consultation.  We offer bilingual services in English and Spanish, and also accept major credit cards.