Posts Tagged ‘Texas DUI Defense Attorney’

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Talks about Legal Insurance for College Students

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Given the popularity of alcohol consumption among college students in many different settings, it is not surprising that college students sometimes face DUI charges during the time that they are enrolled in college. When this happens, the students who have been accused of DUI may not know where to look for help. They are also likely to be very concerned about the potential impact of the DUI charges on their education, as well as on other areas of their lives. College students who have no experience with the legal system are also unlikely to know much about the court process, and about the different legal terms that are used in DUI cases. Some college students may even be completely unaware or somewhat unsure of their rights as DUI defendants. It is important that all college students acknowledge the possibility of encountering DUI charges while they are in school, so that they can decide ahead of time how they might handle such a situation if it did arise.

For some students, an attorney with whom their family has already built a close relationship can step in at a moment’s notice to defend them against DUI charges. This can be very expensive, and even students whose families know attorneys may not be able to afford to retain them when they need them. It is also possible that the attorney that a student’s family knows may not be available at the time that they need their services. Additionally, many students have no previous relationship with an attorney, and they are unlikely to know where to begin as far as selecting an attorney under the stressful circumstances of being charged with a DUI. Fortunately, there is an option that can enable students to be prepared for DUI charges and other legal issues ahead of time.

A company called Texas Legal offers legal insurance for college students and others who may not have the money to pay for attorney fees on an as-needed basis. As with other insurance products like health insurance, people who buy legal insurance pay monthly premiums in exchange for knowing that they will be able to access legal assistance at no cost when they need to do so.

If you are a college student and you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you need to align yourself with someone who can defend you against your DUI charges. A DUI conviction could have far-reaching consequences in many areas of your life, including your education. An experienced Texas DUI Defense Attorney can work with you to help you understand court procedure and develop a defense strategy that is likely to bring about the best possible resolution to your case. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing high quality DUI defense services to his clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more about how he may be able to help you.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Warns Drivers about Increased DUI Patrols

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Summer is almost over, but the Texas Department of Transportation knows that there is still plenty of time left to soak up the sun and enjoy many more good times with your friends. That is why the Texas Department of Transportation has teamed up with local law enforcement agencies throughout the state to carry out an extensive “Drink, Drive, Go to Jail” campaign that is aimed at deterring drunk driving.

An increased police presence on the roadways is part of the campaign, but drivers should be aware that law enforcement officers are not the only ones who are “helping” to spot drunk drivers. Drivers have been calling in the license plate numbers of other drivers whom they believe to be impaired based upon things like driving without their lights on or weaving all over the road. While some people may think that this is a good thing, it is not difficult to imagine that it could easily result in stops and arrests being made for drivers who are not actually under the influence of alcohol.

The timing of the increased DUI patrols is based upon a historical need for drunk driving deterrence campaigns during the summer months. For example, last summer nearly seven hundred people were hurt and three hundred and thirty six people were killed in automobile accidents where alcohol was a factor. The “Drink, Drive, Go to Jail” campaign targets all drunk drivers, whether it is their first offense or a subsequent offense. County officials have stated that they are in favor of the increased patrols, and that they are especially interested in making sure that repeat DUI offenders receive substantial penalties for their actions. For example, one driver, Wesley Lynn Cravens, was recently sentenced to forty years in prison for his seventh DUI conviction.

If you are convicted of DUI in Texas, you could be fined up to seventeen thousand dollars and you could face jail time. With both law enforcement officers and citizens on the lookout for any behaviors that could possibly indicate impaired driving, there are sure to be many traffic stops to investigate possible DUIs. These traffic stops could result in the arrests of many innocent people. They could also result in the filing of DUI charges against drivers who do not deserve the multiple types of negative consequences that are associated with them.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in Texas, it is important that you contact a Texas DUI Defense Attorney immediately, so that your rights can be protected. A Texas DUI conviction could result in a whole range of negative consequences that could have far-reaching effects on many areas of your life. The sooner you have a defense attorney working on your behalf, the better your chances are at obtaining the best possible outcome under the circumstances of your individual situation. If you have questions about your Texas DUI case, call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at 214-521-4567.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Reminds You to Never Leave the Scene of an Accident

Monday, August 17th, 2015

If you are driving and you get into an accident, that’s not a good thing. However, there are bad things and there are worse things. Getting into an accident is bad, but getting into an accident and then receiving additional charges and penalties because you left the scene of the accident is much, much worse. This simple truth applies whether you were drinking and driving at the time of the accident or not.

Recently, one driver took a bad situation, made it worse, and then made it even worse after that. By the time that he was apprehended after his third crash, he had accumulated a series of charges, including third-offense driving under the influence of alcohol, vehicular assault fleeing the scene of a crash with injury, and collision.

The dramatic chain of events began when the driver rear-ended a pickup truck that was stopped at a red light. Fortunately, the driver of the pickup truck was not hurt in the crash. The driver did not remain at the scene of the accident, and as he fled he rear-ended another vehicle, this time, a car. The driver of the car and his passenger were injured, but the driver did not stick around at the scene of that accident either. He fled a second time, and when he failed to negotiate a right turn, his car went across the road, struck an embankment, flew into the air, and collided with a parked car when it landed. The driver was unable to flee from the third accident because he was trapped in the wreckage. He was also injured, so he was taken to the hospital once he was freed from the wreck.

If you are involved in an automobile accident, be sure to remain at the accident scene, even if you have been drinking. If you are intoxicated, you may be charged with DUI, in addition to violating any traffic laws that you may have violated while causing the accident. It is also possible that even though you were drinking, the other driver was at fault for the accident. Either of these scenarios will add up a set of consequences that are less severe than the consequences that you would incur if you chose to flee the scene of the accident. There are multiple types of charges that can be brought against a driver who leaves the scene of an accident, and, as we mentioned before, those charges and consequences are in addition to whatever charges you would face for DUI and for your role in causing the accident, if you were fully or partially at fault.

If you have been charged with DUI in connection with an automobile accident, a Texas DUI Defense Attorney can help you build an aggressive defense against your DUI charges and pursue the best overall results under the unique circumstances of your case. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Discusses an Unusual and Serious Reason for One Woman’s DUI Arrest

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

While many DUI arrests involve people who have consumed alcohol, people who have not consumed alcohol are sometimes arrested because they are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Sometimes, the person was simply driving in an irregular manner. At other times, a medication may have caused the person’s driving or behavior to appear impaired. Illnesses and medical conditions are a third category of things that can cause a person to appear as though they are driving under the influence of alcohol.

One woman was recently arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol after she hit a curb and drove her car into a fire hydrant. Julie Cunningham, who has no recollection of the accident, believes that she lost consciousness while she was driving. She was not driving while fatigued, she had not consumed any alcohol, and she was not on any medications, so none of those things had caused her to lose consciousness. A brain tumor had caused her to lose consciousness, and she was unaware of its existence until after the accident, when she went to the hospital searching for answers.

When Cunningham was arrested, she was given a Breathalyzer exam. The test results indicated that she had no alcohol in her system. A sample was sent for further testing at a toxicology lab, and she spent the night in jail. When her brother picked her up from the jail the day after the accident, he and his wife immediately suspected that something was wrong. Julie could barely move, her speech was slurred, and she could not remember much about the events of the previous day, including spending time in jail.

Julie’s family brought her to the hospital so that she could get checked out, and doctors discovered that she had a brain tumor that was the size of a lemon. She had surgery to remove the tumor, and she is now recovering in the company of family and friends.

Julie Cunningham’s story is a reminder that not every driver who is arrested for DUI was driving under the influence of alcohol. If you were arrested for DUI and you believe that there was some other reason why the law enforcement officers who arrested you may have believed that you were impaired, it is important that you speak with an attorney right away, so that your rights can be protected. A Texas DUI Defense Attorney can help you understand what your rights are, and they can prepare a strong defense case on your behalf. A DUI conviction could result in many negative consequences, and it is in your best interest to get help in defending against DUI charges as soon as possible. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been serving DUI defense clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more about how he may be able to help you.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Tells You What You Need to Know About Field Sobriety Tests

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

Did you know that you have a choice about whether you participate in field sobriety tests? Law enforcement officers won’t come right out and tell you that you have a choice, because they want you to get out of your car and do the tests. It is essential that drivers do remember that they have a choice of whether or not to participate in field sobriety tests, because there are risks associated with doing so.

Any time you drive, whether you drink or not, you are at risk for being stopped and asked to perform field sobriety tests. In fact, some sober drivers are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after failing one or more field sobriety tests. This, in and of itself, is quite troubling. Drivers who are completely sober can fail field sobriety tests and be accused of DUI because the tests are set up so that many people will fail them, and because they are a subjective measure of behavior. If you are not familiar with what “subjective” means, it means that the officer who observes you will form an opinion of whether or not you are sober, and that opinion is the result of the test.

Drivers should be aware that there is a growing public awareness that field sobriety tests are not accurate ways to assess intoxication. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration does not issue any standards for administering or scoring field sobriety tests. As mentioned before, the tests are completely subjective in nature. Research has shown that police officers assess the driver’s level of intoxication incorrectly during one third of all of the field sobriety tests that they administer. That is an unacceptable margin of error for a test that can result in a person being charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and having to go through all of the hardships that go along with that.

Some drivers choose to engage in field sobriety tests because they feel that it will prove that they are sober. Unfortunately, these drivers are all too often disappointed when they fail the tests. One reason that field sobriety tests don’t help drivers prove that they are sober is that the officer who is asking the driver to do the test has already made up their mind that they believe the driver to be intoxicated. If you choose to exit your vehicle under those circumstances, your every move, whether intentional or not, could be used as evidence to reinforce the officer’s pre-determined conclusion that you were intoxicated when your vehicle was stopped.

Choosing not to participate in field sobriety tests is a good way for drivers to avoid being falsely accused of driving under the influence of alcohol. If, despite your best efforts, you are accused of DUI, a Texas DUI Defense Attorney can help you build a strong defense against it. If you have questions about DUI, call Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, today at 214-521-4567.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Discusses the Basics of SR-22 Insurance

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

If your driver’s license has been suspended because of a DUI conviction, you may be in a tough situation. Perhaps you need to be able to drive to work because you do not have access to public transportation and you do not have access to reliable transportation to and from work with family, friends, or co-workers. You may be a parent who needs to be able to drive their children to and from school or other activities, or someone who helps an elderly relative with getting to and from appointments. Fortunately, Texas issues special driver’s licenses called occupational or essential need licenses.

Occupational or essential need licenses enable drivers whose licenses are suspended to operate non-commercial motor vehicles for work, school, and performing essential household duties. There are some requirements that a driver must meet before the Department of Public Safety will issue an occupational driver’s license to them. Many of these requirements are straightforward, but there is one that often causes a great deal of concern and confusion – the SR-22.

An SR-22 is an endorsement that can be attached to an automobile insurance policy. The endorsement creates an obligation for the insurer to continually monitor the status of that insurance policy, and to notify the Department of Public Safety immediately if the policy’s status changes. If you need to obtain an SR-22, it is important to know that not every insurer is willing to issue them.

Before you contact your insurer to ask whether they will issue one for you, it is important that you understand the possible implications of doing so. If you ask your insurer to issue you an SR-22, they may initially refuse to do so. That may not seem like a big deal, but they may even refuse to do so repeatedly if you ask them more than once. Or, they might say that they will issue one for you and then deliberately take a very long time to issue it. Sometimes, the insurer takes such a long time to issue an SR-22 that the driver’s automobile insurance policy gets cancelled because of their license suspension before the SR-22 form is even issued. You might also be denied the ability to renew your policy when it expires.

Since it is not always possible to get an SR-22 through your insurer, you may want to obtain an SR-22 from some other source. It can be done, but there is a risk that you could experience unwanted consequences if you do not go about trying to obtain it in the proper manner. The best thing to do is to get an SR-22 on a non-owner’s or operator’s policy and not on the owner’s policy for the vehicle that you drive. If you obtain an SR-22 on an owner’s policy from a secondary source, that new owner’s policy would cancel your regular policy because duplicate coverage is not permitted under Texas law.

An occupational or essential need driver’s license can help you to keep your job, take care of your home and family, or get to school. A Texas DUI Defense Attorney can help you pursue these licenses and build an aggressive DUI defense that is designed to obtain the best possible result under the circumstances. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Talks about How a DUI Conviction Could Affect Your Life

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

If you have been accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, there is a lot at stake. A Texas DUI conviction has the potential to have an impact on many, many different aspects of your life. From your career to your relationships with your family and friends, many things may be affected in ways that you might not be aware of.

One way in which a DUI conviction could have a large and immediate impact on your life is that it can affect your career. Of course, the exact effect that being convicted of DUI is likely to have depends upon what career path you are following. For many people, a common effect of a DUI conviction is that they have to rethink how they get to and from work every day because their driver’s license has been suspended. Some of people are able to locate affordable and convenient public transportation that enables them to get to and from work until they are able to drive again. Unfortunately, reliable and affordable public transportation is not available everywhere in Texas. In some places, unless you are able to get a ride to and from work every day from co-workers, family members, or friends, you may have a hard time keeping your job. There are also jobs, such as professional truck driving positions, where having a good driving record is a prerequisite for employment, and drivers can be fired after being convicted of DUI. Unfortunately, being fired from your current position for a DUI is just the tip of the iceberg if you are a professional driver. Drivers who are convicted of DUI often have a very difficult time finding work in their field once their license is reinstated, because many companies do not like to hire drivers who have DUIs on their driving records.

Some people who are convicted of DUI may lose their jobs even if they are able to secure alternate transportation, because certain employers and professions have policies regarding DUI convictions and job qualifications. Some of these careers include government work and working with children or the elderly.

In addition to affecting your ability to drive and potentially affecting your career, your DUI is likely to cost you quite a bit of money. From retaining an attorney to defend you against the charges, to paying fines and fees both now and in the future, to reinstating your license and getting car insurance when you can drive again, it can really add up. Relationships can become strained, especially if people are inclined to take a judgmental view of what has happened instead of offering support and encouragement as you move through this difficult chapter in your life. You may even have a hard time taking care of day to day needs like housing, if you currently receive public assistance, because eligibility for some programs and services may be affected by a DUI conviction.

A DUI conviction can have far-reaching effects on your life. A Texas DUI Defense Attorney is your best defense against the negative effects of a DUI conviction. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been serving DUI defense clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more about how he may be able to help you.

Texas DUI Defense Attorney Discusses the Role of Science in DUI Cases

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

One of the most important elements of a strong DUI defense case is science. While some of the evidence that is involved in DUI cases is circumstantial, such as things that police officers claim that the driver said or did, other important pieces of evidence are scientific. Texas DUI defense attorneys know that understanding the scientific principles that relate to things like blood and breath tests can make or break a DUI defense case, as can knowing how to bring challenges against scientific evidence in court.

Evidentiary challenges have helped many DUI defendants avoid convictions, and they may play a role in your DUI case. There are many ways to challenge blood and breath test evidence. From the manner in which the samples are collected to the equipment that is used and what happens to the sample after it is collected, there are multiple points in time at which things happen that can form the basis for an evidentiary challenge. For example, law enforcement officers may not use the testing equipment properly, due to insufficient training, lack of experience, or mistakes. Equipment that is used may be outdated. Samples can become contaminated or be mishandled. In short, there is a lot of room for error, and DUI defense attorneys are experienced at examining the course of events that occurred during and after a DUI traffic stop in a way that often enables them to find one or more bases for challenging the blood or breath testing evidence.

If a driver who has been charged with DUI chose to participate in field sobriety testing, there are often ways to challenge evidence that is related to those tests. There is a growing body of evidence that supports a conclusion that field sobriety tests do not provide accurate information, so it is a good idea to challenge them on that basis.

There are also other ways in which science is relevant to DUI defense. Medications, metabolism, food and drinks can all interfere with the accuracy of blood and breath test results. The natural differences between all of our bodies can also affect test results because weight, gender, and body structure all influence how alcohol affects us.  A knowledge of the science that is involved in how alcohol works in our bodies can help DUI defense attorneys formulate other challenges to DUI charges if they are applicable to an individual’s situation.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, you need a strong ally who can help you defend yourself against DUI charges. A skilled Texas DUI Defense Attorney can combine their knowledge of the law with their knowledge of science to develop a defense strategy that is likely to being about the best possible outcome in your case. Jack Pettit, Attorney at Law, has been providing high quality DUI defense representation to clients in the Dallas area for over thirty years. Call Attorney Jack Pettit today at 214-521-4567, to learn more about how he may be able to help you.