Posts Tagged ‘Dallas DWI Defense Attorney’

Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Offers 5 Tips to Help You Stick with Your New Year’s Resolution to Not Drink & Drive

Monday, December 8th, 2014

It is 2015 and you have resolved not to drink and drive this year. Unfortunately, most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by February 1st. This is often because the resolutions are not well thought out. Hoping to succeed is not enough, such as saying to yourself: “I hope to lose 10 pounds” or “I hope to quit smoking”. People often forget that habits are difficult to change and just hoping is not enough to change bad habits. To ensure that your resolution to not drink and drive is successful, following these tips:

  • Consider your life with a DWI on your record: To succeed with any resolution you need to be motivated to do so. While not drinking and driving can seem like a no brainer, it may be helpful for you to think for a few minutes of how a DWI would impact your life. Think of how much you would spend on attorney’s fees, fines, court costs and the like. Consider how losing your driver’s license for a year would impact your employment, education and/or your family life.
  • Create a plan before you go out: In order to avoid drinking and driving, you need a plan. Your plan may have to vary depending on the situation, so you need to create a plan each time before you go out. Maybe, if you are going to an event downtown, it may be easiest to take a cab or public transportation. If you are going to a party at a friend’s house, maybe your plan will be to have a designated driver. Every plan should also have a back-up plan. So if your plan was to limit your drinking to no more than one drink per hour, maybe your back up plan is to have a friend be your designated driver.
  • Tell someone at the event about your resolution: If you are going to a party with friends, make sure at least one friend knows and will help you keep your resolution. Think of it as a buddy system. If you had a drink or two too many, he or she will can step up and take your keys and put you in a cab at the end of the night.
  • Find support from friends & family members: Share your resolution with others. While your decision not to drink and drive is ultimately your own, it is great to let others help support your decision. Who knows, you might even convince other people to do the same.
  • Re-evaluate but do not abandon your resolution: When it comes to resolutions, we sometimes take a “throw the baby out with the bath water” type approach. Meaning, that if we screw up or make a mistake, instead of giving ourselves a break and trying again, we simply abandon the resolution. Instead, if you wake up one morning realizing that you probably should not have driven home the night before, take a minute to think of what went wrong. Use this mistake as a learning experience and create a better plan next time you go out.

A DWI is a serious offense. If you are charged with a DWI in 2015, be smart and hire the most experienced Dallas DWI Defense Attorney you can find. 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 and win a DWI charge. To see how Attorney Jack Pettit can help you, call today 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.

Fighting a Dallas County DWI Charge

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Many Dallas County residents find themselves facing criminal charges for one incidence of drinking and driving, especially in cases where the amount of alcohol at issue was barely above the legal limit and/or when nobody was harmed.  While driving under the influence should not be taken lightly and such conduct is very serious, it can seem unfair when a person makes one bad mistake that may result in a tarnished criminal record for an indefinite period of time.

Unfortunately, DWI charges are often lumped together so one minor DWI charge may be equated to a very serious DWI charge where someone may have been injured or killed.  It is understandable that all DWI charges are treated similarly because each act of driving while intoxicated does have the potential for creating a serious risk of harm to others.  However, the consequences seem very harsh when even a minor instance of driving while intoxicated can make it difficult for you to move forward in life in terms of finding employment, attending college, or renting a home.

Avoiding Conviction of a Texas DWI Charge

There is never a guarantee that a Texas DWI charge can be dismissed, or that a case will result in a verdict of not guilty; however, many DWI charges can be dismissed on a variety of different grounds.  Oftentimes, individuals facing DWI charges, or any other criminal charge for that matter, do not have the legal representation they need to present the best possible defense. 

Your constitutional rights may have been violated even without you being aware of it.  For example, if a police officer did not read you your Miranda rights, and you subsequently said something incriminating, that statement cannot then be used against you in court.  If you are not aware of this, the incriminating statement may somehow find its way into court without quality legal representation, making it nearly impossible for you to avoid conviction.  As such, you need an attorney who will investigate each and every fact of your case to determine if your rights have been violated.

In addition to the potential violation of your constitutional rights, there may simply be insufficient evidence to prove that you are guilty of driving while intoxicated.  If there are grounds to have your DWI charge dismissed, your attorney will utilize all resources possible to seek dismissal of the charge.  Given that Texas law will not allow for the expunction or sealing of DWI convictions, it is imperative that you do whatever you can to fight your DWI charge from the start.

Contact Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today to Schedule an Initial Consultation

Having a DWI conviction on your Texas criminal record is undoubtedly stressful, making it difficult for you to separate yourself from one prior bad act.  Because Texas law is tough, and a prior DWI conviction cannot be expunged or sealed, it is crucial to fight your DWI charge to the fullest extent possible, seeking the advice of a Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney right away.  Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit devotes a large portion of his criminal defense practice to defending clients who face a variety of DWI charges.  As a former prosecutor with more than thirty years of experience, Jack Pettit has a thorough understanding of what must be done to reach the best result possible for your individual situation.  If you would like to speak with Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit about a prior or pending DWI conviction, 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.

DWI Charges in Texas – When Lending Your Car to Others Can Be Risky

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

It’s not always easy to say no to a friend, family member, co-worker, or other acquaintance who has asked to borrow your car, especially when that person is literally begging you, or trying to convince you it’s an emergency.  While most of the time, cars are borrowed without consequence, there are times when the individual who has borrowed the car has been drinking, and subsequently is pulled over and charged with Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas.  If this happens, and you are completely unaware that the individual was under the influence, you likely will not face criminal charges.  However, you should be aware that you could potentially be charged with aiding and abetting if there is any evidence to show you may have known about the individual’s intoxication, and/or knowingly allowed that person to drive your car.

In Texas, aiding and abetting is a general crime, and the consequences and range of punishment of a conviction entirely depend upon the underlying crime.  With a DWI, if you knew or had reason to know that another person driving your car was under the influence, you face consequences that could result in a conviction on your criminal record, causing problems for you in the future.  However, if you consult with a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney right away, your attorney may be able to get any criminal charges against you dismissed or lowered to less serious charges.

It is important to understand that the police must have clear facts to show you aided and abetted another person who operated your vehicle while under the influence.  In most cases, the owner of the vehicle is unaware that the individual operating the vehicle has done so under the influence.  But, you should be prepared in the event the police speak with you about what happened.  Even if you had nothing to do with the individual driving your car under the influence, your nerves and anxiety of speaking with police officers may cause you to say something you did not intend.  As such, you should speak with an attorney prior to talking with police, even if you have not been convicted of any crime.

You should also be aware that you may be held civilly liable for the driver’s negligence if any property has been damaged or destroyed, and/or any person has been injured as a result of the individual’s conduct in allegedly driving under the influence.  Because there is a potential that you may have to speak with the police and/or may be charged with aiding and abetting, it is essential that you seek the opinion of a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Criminal charges can be unsuspecting, and oftentimes accused individuals are shocked when they are charged with a crime they were not actually involved in.  Whether you have been charged with a DWI, or you have been charged with aiding and abetting, you should consult with a seasoned Dallas County DWI Defense Attorney right away.  The sooner you speak with an attorney, the sooner your attorney can evaluate the facts of your case and either seek dismissal of the charge, or negotiate to have the charge lowered to a less serious crime.  Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor, and has more than thirty years of experience working in the criminal justice system.  Mr. Pettit devotes his practice to defending the constitutional rights of his clients and seeking the best resolution possible for each client’s unique circumstances.  To schedule an initial consultation with Jack Pettit, contact our office today 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 DWI Convictions Cannot Be Expunged or Sealed

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

One small mistake can leave your criminal record tarnished for the foreseeable future in Texas.  Driving under the influence of alcohol, no matter how much you may have been drinking, can be devastating.  Perhaps you are otherwise a solid citizen and have great potential to attend college and pursue the career of your choice.  A DWI conviction can make your goals of college and employment much more difficult to achieve.  A DWI is a blemish on your criminal record that cannot be expunged or sealed under Texas law.

Having a criminal conviction expunged is effectively making the conviction disappear – as if the conviction never occurred in the first place.  Having your conviction sealed is making your criminal record unavailable to others.  Thus, if employers, educational institutions, or prospective landlords run a criminal background check, your conviction would not appear on the background check.

Both expunction and the sealing of criminal records are available for many crimes in Texas, but not available for DWI convictions.  You may not be sentenced to jail time for a DWI conviction, however, the mere conviction can feel just as restrictive as jail when you cannot get a job, get accepted to a college or university, or obtain housing.  Because the consequences of a DWI conviction can haunt you for years to come, it is essential that you consult with a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney right away to ensure you are doing everything you can to avoid a DWI conviction.

What Are My Options to Avoid a DWI Conviction?

The first thing your attorney will do is thoroughly evaluate each and every fact relating to your DWI charge.  Police officers make mistakes sometimes that compromise an individual’s constitutional rights, and the violation of such rights may lead to a dismissal of your charge.  If the DWI charge is dismissed, you will not have anything on your record.  Further, you may have other defenses available to justify dismissal of your DWI charge.  A seasoned Dallas DWI Defense Attorney will immediately know what steps to take after reviewing the facts of your arrest.

If your charge cannot be dismissed, you may have the option of having your DWI charge lowered to an offense that may not stay on your record indefinitely, or the conviction may be expunged or sealed after a certain period of time.  In order to reach such favorable results to your DWI charge, you need a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney who has the experience and skill required to reach an agreement with the prosecutor to find a fair resolution that will enable you to move on without significant damage to your record.   

An attorney who has a good working relationship with prosecutors will be able to provide you with the best legal representation possible.  It is important to understand, however, that having an existing criminal record may make it more difficult to have a pending DWI charge lowered, but having a qualified and experienced attorney by your side will increase your chances of resolving your criminal matter in a way that has the least harmful effect on your criminal record.

Contact Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

Texas law enforcement officials take DWI charges very seriously, and a conviction on your record remains for good.  The sooner you consult with a Dallas DWI Defense Attorney, the sooner you can fight your DWI charge and seek to have the charge lowered or dismissed.  Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit is a former prosecutor with more than three decades of experience prosecuting and defending criminal cases.  Jack Pettit will work diligently to help you overcome your DWI charge, thoroughly investigating the facts of your case.  To speak with Jack Pettit, contact our office today by calling (214) 521-4567 to schedule an initial consultation.  Our office conveniently provides bilingual legal services in both English and Spanish, and we also accept major credit cards.

The 411on Reasonable Suspicion and DWI Stops in Texas

Saturday, February 1st, 2014

Being charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Texas can be very serious and  may leave an irreversible blemish on your criminal record.  You may also have trouble getting a job or being accepted to a college or university.  Every step that takes place after being pulled over by a police officer is crucial.  Accordingly, if you are facing DWI charges, or have been arrested under the suspicion of driving while impaired, you should ask yourself the following:  did the police officer have the power to pull you over in the first place?  This is a question that everyone should ask immediately after being charged with driving while intoxicated.

Oftentimes, people believe that the second they are pulled over, they are automatically in trouble, whether guilty or not.  Police officers are in a position to intimidate the person who they have pulled over.  The act of being pulled over itself can create fear and anxiety.  With all of this anxiety, many people forget that police officers must follow a certain set of important rules to protect your constitutional rights.

Under Texas law, an officer may pull a driver over if he or she has “reasonable suspicion” that the driver is committing a crime.  Reasonable suspicion is subjective in that an officer’s feeling or opinion about a driver’s conduct is what gives him or her the authority to pull the driver over for a limited investigation.  While officers are supposed to have a strong basis for their reasonable suspicion that a driver is committing a crime, such as driving while intoxicated, many officers find nearly any reason to pull someone over.  If no reasonable suspicion exists, then a DWI charge may be dismissed.

What Are Some Examples that Give Rise to “Reasonable Suspicion” in Texas?

 Officers may believe they have reasonable suspicion that a driver is driving while intoxicated when they observe the following conduct:

  • Weaving across lanes;
  • Turning without a signal;
  • Erratic driving, with frequent changes in speed;
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign, or coming to a rolling stop;
  • Running a red light; and
  • Causing an accident, or making contact with objects along the roadside (such as light polls or signs).

An officer’s interpretation of reasonable suspicion could be legitimate if any of the above behaviors are obvious, but he or she has a huge amount of discretion to determine if a driver appears to be driving while intoxicated.  While all officers should act in accordance with the law, respecting your constitutional rights, some officers take advantage of a driver being unaware of the law.

With the help of a seasoned Dallas DWI Defense Attorney, you may be able to have your charge dismissed completely if the officer who pulled you over did not have reasonable suspicion.  If you have been charged with a DWI, it is important to act fast so that your attorney can quickly address the officer’s misconduct in pulling you over.  The longer you wait, the less likely you will be able to avoid a DWI on your record.

Contact Dallas Criminal Defense Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI, it is imperative that you consult with a Texas Criminal Defense Attorney as soon as possible.  Your constitutional rights are at stake and you need someone by your side to protect those rights, no matter what!  Attorney Jack Pettit has more than thirty years of experience and focuses a large portion of his criminal defense law practice on defending clients charged with a DWI.  Mr. Pettit has helped his clients receive the best possible outcome to a DWI charge, whether that be having the charge dismissed or resolving the matter with very little punishment.  Mr. Pettit will defend your rights to the fullest.  Contact Dallas DWI Defense Attorney Jack Pettit today at (214) 521-4567 to schedule an initial consultation.  Our office provides bilingual services in both English and Spanish, and also accepts major credit cards.