Posts Tagged ‘Dallas DWI lawyer’

Consequences of Driving Drunk with a Child Passenger in Texas

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

Child safety should be the most important consideration when driving a car with a child passenger.  This is the case regardless of whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or is completely sober.  A child should be placed in a car seat properly (if the child is of a very young age), a child should always be wearing a seatbelt, and the driver should be following Texas driving laws at all times.  Therefore, when a driver chooses to drink and drive or take drugs when a child passenger is present, all consideration for child safety is gone.

Under Texas law, anyone convicted of a DWI with a child passenger younger than fifteen years of age faces a fine of up to $10,000, jail time of up to two years in a state penitentiary, and the loss of a driver’s license for 180 days.  These are serious consequences that can leave any convicted individual’s life in shambles.  Further, the regret of knowing a child’s life was put in danger is a form of punishment in itself.  Despite these strict measures under Texas law, it is important to understand that all people make mistakes.  The law applies equally regardless if you are an upstanding citizen who happened to have a few beers before picking up your child from a sporting event, or if you have a blemished criminal record.

Further, if a child is injured or killed as a result of a drunk driving accident, hefty jail time should be expected.  Even having one sip of alcohol and driving with a child passenger under fifteen years of age is too much of a risk to take.  You should assume that you could be pulled over at any time for any particular reason, as police often find ways to pull individuals over for very minor violations (such as not signaling when turning left or right, or not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign, among others).

How a DWI Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help You

If you seek the advice of an experienced attorney as soon as possible after being charged with a DWI accompanied by traveling with a child passenger, you may be able to minimize the punishment imposed on you.  It is key to remember that the punishment terms listed above are maximum punishments for the crime, so just because you committed the crime does not mean you will be subject to the maximum penalties.

Depending on whether or not you have a criminal record, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor to ensure the charge does not haunt you for years to come.  If you plead guilty to the charge at hand without the assistance of an attorney, you are leaving the decision up to the judge, and oftentimes a judge’s decision is much stricter than a prosecutor would have agreed to.  Therefore, it is essential that you do whatever you can to get your DWI matter taken care of with an experienced attorney by your side.

 Contact Our Office Today to Meet With Jack Pettit To Discuss Your DWI Charge

If you have been charged with driving under the influence while having a child in your car, it is imperative that you speak with a highly experienced Dallas DUI/DWI defense attorney as soon as possible.  Attorney Jack Pettit has devoted a large percentage of his practice to handling all types of DUI and DWI charges, and has the knowledge and skill necessary to handle your case. All drinking-related charges in Texas are very serious, but when a child is involved, the consequences can be even more severe.  To learn more about your legal options, contact Attorney Jack Pettit by calling 214-521-4567.  Mr. Pettit conveniently provides services in both English and Spanish.  His office also accepts major credit cards.

DWIs and Drunk Driving on Private Property in Texas

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

More often than not, people who are pulled over and have been out drinking and driving are charged with a DWI in a public place.  But, what happens when you are driving drunk on your own property?  It is a common misconception that you are immune from arrest or being charged with a DWI if you are on your own property.  While you may be safe in some cases, you may not be safe in other cases.

In Texas, the law regarding being charged with a DWI technically states that you must be driving under the influence and operating a motor vehicle in a public place.  However, sometimes it is difficult to determine what a public place is.  For example, a parking lot is sometimes considered private property, but open to the public, so this would be considered a public place.  Also, you may live on what is considered a private road where other residents live, so you may believe this is private property.  You may be correct, but if the street is open to the public, or if a non-resident is able to access the road, this road may very well be deemed a public place for purposes of being charged with a DWI.

The police can arrest you if they have probable cause to do so for driving under the influence.  Even if you are operating your motor vehicle on what you believe is your own property, the police still may have probable cause to believe your conduct is a threat to yourself or others.  Therefore, you should not assume that you are completely safe from arrest or conviction if you are driving drunk on your own property.

Oftentimes people may be confused about what public place means and what private place or private property means.  It seems logical to assume that you can do what you want on your own property as long as you are not harming anyone else.  While this may be the case if you are in your own home, this is not always the case if you are outside of your home.  You are less likely to cause harm to others if you are drinking in the comfort of your own home.  But, if you have been drinking and get behind the wheel, even if you do not start the car, you have run the risk of harming someone else, even if you are on your own property.

A key example is where you may get behind the wheel in your driveway and back up while someone is walking across on the sidewalk, or perhaps even through your lawn.  Even if this person walks through your lawn, which is your own property, and you hit this person when leaving your driveway, you may certainly be facing DWI charges in addition to more severe charges for injuring another person.  Don’t take the chance of exposing yourself to criminal charges.  You should assume that no matter where you are when you are driving a motor vehicle, whether on a public street or on your own property, you may be subject to a DWI conviction if you are under the influence.  That is why you should speak with a criminal defense attorney experienced with DWI charges.

If you have been charged with a DWI for driving under the influence on what you believe to be private property, contact our office today to speak with Attorney Jack Pettit.  Mr. Pettit is an experienced criminal defense attorney who has handled thousands of DUI cases in Dallas and the surrounding areas.  Don’t assume that you are immune from Texas law if you were not driving in a public place while intoxicated.  Mr. Pettit will look at every fact available in your case to determine if the police had probable cause to charge you with a DWI.  Contact our office today by calling 214-521-4567.  We conveniently offer bilingual services in both English and Spanish.  We also accept most major credit cards.