Posts Tagged ‘Dallas traffic court attorney’

Dallas Traffic Attorney Discusses How Speeding Tickets Can Affect Your Insurance Rates

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Speeding tickets are not normally thought of as being a big deal.  You get pulled over, get a ticket, and pay a fine.  Even the best of drivers, and the most cautious, are at risk for being pulled over.  Police officers in Texas have been known to pull drivers over for going just a few miles per hour over the speed limit.  This inconvenience could cause you more harm than simply paying a fine.

What many people do not know is that after being issued a speeding ticket, your automobile insurance rates may increase, whether in the form of a one-time fine, or an overall increase in your monthly premiums.  All insurance companies have different policies and procedures regarding rate increases, however, if you have received a speeding ticket, you should be aware that you may not only be facing a fine and possible court date – you could be paying hundreds of dollars that you otherwise would not be responsible for.

What Can I Do To Avoid Increasing My Insurance Rates?

More often than not, you have the ability to lower your speeding ticket violation to a lesser charge, such as a non-moving violation.  A non-moving violation could be defective equipment (such as a broken tail light), or perhaps expired tags – something that does not have the potential to raise your insurance rates.  However, you need the assistance of an attorney to help you through this process.

When you receive a citation for speeding, you will automatically receive a court date where you can appear to contest the ticket, or you can pay the fine ahead of time in order to avoid appearing in court.  If you choose to have your ticket amended, an attorney will have to appear on your behalf and ask the court to accept your offer to amend the ticket.  If the court accepts this offer, you will most likely have to pay a heftier fine in order to reduce the speeding ticket charge to a non-moving violation.  This could mean that you will have to pay twice as much as you would otherwise pay, however, the cost of amending the charge could save you in the long run from an increase in your insurance rates.

It is important to remember that the amount of speeding tickets you have on your record will certainly influence your insurance rates and a court’s decision to amend a pending speeding ticket.  Further, how fast you were driving will also have an impact on your insurance rates, as faster drivers are higher risk, and a court may not grant an amendment if you speed was excessive.  For these reasons, it is imperative that you do what you can to avoid getting speeding tickets in the first place, and in the unfortunate event that you do receive a speeding ticket, you take care of it right away with the help of a qualified Dallas attorney.

Contact Dallas Traffic Ticket Attorney Jack Pettit Today

If you have a traffic ticket that you would like taken care of, you need an experienced Dallas traffic ticket attorney to help you move on without increasing your insurance rates or earning points on your driver’s license.  Criminal defense and traffic ticket attorney Jack Pettit has more than 30 years of legal experience.  Mr. Pettit has helped his clients overcome the burden of dealing with traffic tickets and the negative effects such tickets can have on insurance rates and driving records.  To ensure you are doing whatever you can to avoid the negative consequences of a traffic ticket, contact Attorney Jack Pettit today to schedule a consultation by calling (214) 521-4567.  Our office provides bilingual services in both English and Spanish and we accept major credit cards.

Commercial Drivers May Have a Remedy for a Traffic Violation Under Texas Law

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Do you make your living with a Commercial Driver’s License? Did you get a ticket while passing through Dallas? You may think that you do not have any option other than paying the fine and accepting the points on your license. However there are other solutions.

The Texas Department of Public Safety regulates Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and imposes penalties on those drivers who violate traffic regulations.  A CDL may be disqualified for various periods of time.  Two serious offenses, which include reckless driving, excessive speeding, improper lane changes, and following another vehicle too closely, within a period of three years may result in disqualification for sixty (60) days.  Three such offenses within the same timeframe may lead to disqualification for 120 days.  A violation involving a railroad-crossing may lead to a disqualification after the first offense.  Although these penalties are serious, the right attorney can make sure that the impact on your livelihood is minimized.

Mailing your payment after receipt of a violation is not your best option.  This will result in a conviction on your record.  This is a worst-case scenario.

  1. Dismissal of the ticket is possible.  Despite the seeming finality of the ticket once the police officer has issued it and walked away, it is possible to challenge the ticket in court.  During the initial meeting, please come prepared with a clear presentation of the facts surrounding the ticket so that any grounds for a dismissal can be explored.
  1. Negotiation of a Fine Only.  If the court will not dismiss the ticket, there is still the opportunity for a negotiated settlement that will result in a fine, but no conviction on your record and not points on your CDL.
  1. Minimization of Points Appearing on Your License.  If a dismissal or a negotiated fine-only result is not achievable, it is possible to minimize the number of points that appear on your CDL.  The disqualifications discussed above are the result of serious violations and limiting the number of points on your license can prevent future issues.

If circumstances have progressed to the point that your license has been disqualified, a hearing may be requested to challenge the result.  This must be done within twenty days of the disqualification.  An administrative hearing will be scheduled in a municipal or justice court.  A denial at this level may be appealed.  Due to the nature of a CDL, in the event of disqualification, there are no reinstatement requirements.  The license will be reinstated automatically after the ascribed disqualification time period.  There is no class or responsible driver course that a driver can take to modify the process.

For additional information, or if you are a commercial driver who has received a ticket while passing through Texas, it is important to work with an experienced Dallas criminal defense lawyer to help you enforce your rights.  For more than thirty years, our office has successfully defended thousands of individuals dealing with all types of criminal related offenses.   If you would like to speak to Mr. Pettit about your case, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567.  We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.

Top Myths Associated with Traffic Tickets in Texas

Friday, March 29th, 2013

There are many myths associated with being issued a traffic ticket in Texas, which often leaves people misinformed and prone to making costly mistakes when pulled over.  Accordingly, the following are a list of myths and the reality behind them in order to help you know what to expect should you be issued a traffic citation and also, to avoid getting pulled over in the first place:

  1. 1.      Red cars are more likely to be pulled over that other vehicles.

False.  No study has ever proven that red cars are pulled over more frequently than others.  Accordingly, it is highly recommended that you follow the speed limit, regardless of the color of your car.

  1. 2.      Every county in Texas charges the same amount for a traffic violation.

This is certainly not true.  Each county in Texas may charge slightly different fines.  Therefore, it is important for you to check with your own county to be sure that you pay the exact amount owed on your ticket.

  1. 3.      If the police officer makes an error on my ticket, it will automatically be thrown out.

Not true.  If a police officer makes a slight error on your ticket such as writing down that you have green eyes when your eyes are in fact blue, this will likely not convince a judge to dismiss your charges.  While small clerical errors are likely of no consequence to a judge, larger errors may be pointed out for his or her consideration.  Meaning, a judge may dismiss your case if the mistake is so egregious such that without the error, you would not have been found guilty in the first place.

  1. 4.      If the police officer that issued my ticket fails to show up in court, the judge must throw out my case.

This is not necessarily true.  Although it is unconstitutional for a police officer to fail to appear in court (an accused has the right to question his or her accuser), a judge may not automatically dismiss your case.  Most often, the judge will reschedule the case to allow for the police officer to make his or her appearance rather than throwing it out altogether.

  1. 5.      If I am issued a ticket in another state such as Louisiana or Mississippi, the State of Texas will not find out.

This is absolutely false.  According to the Interstate Driver’s License Compact, 45 participating states in the U.S., including the ones mentioned above, must exchange information with the other regarding traffic violations committed by non-residents with the defendant’s home state.

If you have been charged with a traffic violation in Texas, it is essential to work with an experienced attorney that knows the nuances and complexities associated with these types of cases.  Attorney Jack Pettit will take the time to evaluate your case and develop a strategic legal defense on your behalf.  If you wish to discuss your case with Mr. Pettit, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567.  We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.


Think Twice Before Giving Up and Paying Your Traffic Fine

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

No matter where you go, people often think that traffic tickets and the harsh fines associated therewith are one of the unfortunate realities of life. In this view, some individuals simply pay their fines without thinking twice about their options. In the event that a person rarely receives traffic tickets, this may not be that big of a deal. However, as little as two traffic tickets can create huge hassles if not handled properly. Not only do traffic citations significantly impact one’s auto insurance premiums, they can also cause a person to lose their driver’s license altogether.

Under Chapter 708 of the Texas Transportation Code, it provides for what is known as the “Driver Responsibility Program”. This is a system where points and penalties are issued to a driver after he or she receives a certain number of traffic violations within a certain time period. Since the beginning of September, the State of Texas has been monitoring the amount of points generated by drivers for all traffic related convictions.

To illustrate, under the Driver Responsibility Program, 2 points are issued for a moving violations, with 3 points recorded if the violation involved a collision with another automobile. Non-moving violations such as not wearing a seatbelt, driving with an expired registration, failing to comply with state mandated inspections and others do not generate points against a driver. Once a person receives a total of 6 points within a three year period, he or she will be charged a surcharge, or penalty, of $100, with $25 required for each additional point. Said surcharges must be sent to the Texas Department of Public Safety on an annual basis for three years. If you fail to pay the surcharge, this department will immediately suspect your driver’s license.

It is important to keep in mind that certain types of traffic violations are treated more seriously in Texas than others. Notwithstanding, in the event that you are convicted of driving with a suspected license or without insurance, the point system will not apply. However, you will be required to pay a surcharge of $250 per year for three years. Driving without a valid operator’s license will also cause a person to incur a $100 surcharge.

Even though points only apply to traffic violation convictions, it is important to speak with an experienced Texas traffic attorney to learn more about your legal options. With over thirty years of experience successfully handling Texas traffic violation cases, attorney Jack Pettit will do what it takes to fight for your rights. When you work with Mr. Pettit, he will also take the time necessary to investigate the facts of your case and mount a strong defense on your behalf. Don’t take chances by representing yourself or give up by blindly paying fines. Get the information you need and the representation you deserve to make informed decisions about your case. 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.


An Overview of Texas “No Refusal” Laws

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Thirty states in the U.S., including Texas, have enacted what are known as “no refusal” DUI enforcement laws in order to deter drivers from drinking and getting behind the wheel.  Under these aggressive enforcement measures, the consequences may be severe if you are pulled over under the suspicion of a DUI.  However, being familiar with Texas’ “no refusal” laws is the first step in protecting yourself from being pulled over for and ultimately convicted of a DUI in Texas.  Accordingly, the following are some facts of which you should be aware:

First, law enforcement personnel across the State of Texas are firmly demanding that drunk drivers take an on-site blood test if they refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test at a sobriety checkpoint.  Texas law enforcement has adopted this approach given that blood tests generally have a higher degree of accuracy than breath tests.  Ultimately, the results of these tests can serve as powerful weapons for prosecutors given that they lend evidentiary support for a DUI conviction.

Despite the fact that warrants are required in order to perform such invasive types of tests, police officers have been successfully getting around having to obtain them.  Specifically, technological advances in the criminal justice system have allowed for electronic warrants to be issued to police, whether to their cell phone or computer.  Moreover, judges may be present at DUI checkpoints or the closest police station in order to provide the warrants necessary to support the State during “no refusal” enforcement initiative periods.

Many protests have been raised by the American Civil Liberties Union, claiming that “no refusal” laws violate the rights of drivers against unconstitutional Fourth Amendment search and seizures.  Notwithstanding, Texas courts have consistently upheld the constitutionality of mandatory on-site blood tests.  As a result, you have no legal rights to refuse to submit to a blood test once a judicial warrant has been issued.  Texas police are even given the green light to use physical means to force people to undergo blood testing.

Overall, having an awareness of your rights when you are pulled over under the suspicion of a DUI is important no matter what the situation presents.   When “no refusal” DUI enforcement initiatives are in effect, typically during holidays and weekends when drunk driving is more prevalent, knowing your rights can make a big difference.

If you are facing DUI charges in Texas, it is crucial to work with 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 DUI related charges.

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