A Renowned Dallas Criminal Defense Law Firm Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP was founded in 2004, bringing together four of the top criminal defense lawyers in the state of Texas. However, the roots of our firm date back to 1994 when Knox Fitzpatrick and Daniel K. Hagood left the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to form what was then Fitzpatrick & Hagood. A Team Approach to Criminal Defense Representation Our firm was founded on the notion that our attorneys are part of a law firm a team, rather than a loose association of individuals. We believe that when you retain one of us, you retain all of us. We “task organize” a specific lawyer-investigation team for each case. In this manner, we provide each client highly tailored legal advice and representation based on the needs of our client and the experiences of all our lawyers. Every attorney at Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP is a former high-level state and/or federal prosecutor. Some of our partners are Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and all have been recognized by their peers as a Texas Super Lawyer in Texas Monthly Law & Politics Magazine. Unique Qualifications and Experience Our attorneys form a rich union of experience to criminal defense matters. Along with being former high-level state and federal prosecutors, partners at our firm have also served as United States Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, General Counsel to the Governor of Texas, Special Prosecutor in the Dallas County “Fake Drug Scandal,” an instructor at the U.S. Attorney General’s Advocacy Institute, and SMU Adjunct Professor teaching white collar criminal advocacy. Our ability to effectively defend complex state and federal criminal matters comes from our in-depth understanding of how prosecutors prepare and try cases. In many instances, the partners in our firm trained the lawyers prosecuting our clients’ cases. A Full-Service Criminal Defense Law Firm As a full-service law firm, we defend clients charged with any state or federal criminal violation, including military or UCMJ violations. Our attorneys have handled cases ranging from securities fraud in federal court to war crimes in military court, and from capital murder in state district court to driving while intoxicated in county court. At Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP, no case is too difficult, and no case is treated as routine.
Drunk Driving/DUI Practice Center The penalties for drinking and driving have become more severe, particularly for repeat offenders, who often face mandatory jail time. In many states, plea bargaining is restricted or banned in drunk-driving cases. Fines have increased and driver’s license suspensions have lengthened. It is also harder to obtain a “hardship” license that allows a person only to drive to and from work. In this climate an experienced drunk-driving defense attorney is essential. Thank you for contacting Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP. Your message has been sent. Call us now or use the form below. Call us now or use the form below. First Name: Last Name: Phone Number: Email Address: Zip: Comments: Submit Click here to provide more information. Frequently Asked Questions About Drunk Driving Q: What is “blood alcohol concentration” or “blood alcohol level”? A: Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the level of alcohol in the bloodstream from drinking alcoholic beverages. BAC readings are used in court as evidence in drunk-driving cases. The most common method of measure is a breath test, although blood and/or urine testing is sometimes done. A result of 0.08 or higher may establish a presumption of intoxication. The details of the 0.08 BAC presumption laws vary among the states, but all 50 states have adopted 0.08 as their official intoxication level, in large part because of a federal threat of otherwise withholding highway funds. Q: Can I refuse a Breathalyzer® test? A: Every state has its own version of an implied consent law providing that a driver impliedly consents to alcohol testing just by the act of driving. In many states, a refusal to take a breath test is itself a criminal violation subject to stiff penalties. For example, refusing a breath test might result in automatic driver’s-license suspension or revocation. If you are ultimately found guilty of a drunk-driving offense, there may be additional penalties because of the test refusal, such as a stiffer sentence. Your test refusal may also be used as evidence against you in a drunk-driving case. Read More The penalties for drinking and driving have become more severe, particularly for repeat offenders, who often face mandatory jail time. In many states, plea bargaining is restricted or banned in drunk-driving cases. Fines have increased and driver’s license suspensions have lengthened. It is also harder to obtain a “hardship” license that allows a person only to drive to and from work. In this climate an experienced drunk-driving defense attorney is essential. Drunk Driving – An Overview If you have been stopped for, arrested for or charged with drunk driving, contact Fitzpatrick Hagood Smith & Uhl LLP in Dallas, TX, as soon as possible to discuss your options and rights with an attorney who has experience handling drunk-driving cases. Drunk-driving law is complex and the guidance of a skilled and knowledgeable lawyer can make a significant difference in a defendant’s experience and in the outcome of his or her case. Read More The Use of Ignition Interlock Devices in Drunk-Driving Cases Most states have regulations that allow or mandate that judges order the installation of interlock devices as a penalty during sentencing in drunk-driving cases. An ignition interlock is a device installed in a car that measures the blood alcohol content of the driver, who must blow into the device before starting the car. If the blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a certain level, the car will not start. Because the laws regarding the use of ignition interlock devices in drunk-driving cases vary from state to state, it is important to speak to an experienced DUI defense attorney in your state. Read More The Prosecutor’s Role in a Drunk-Driving Case Prosecution refers to the government’s role in the criminal-justice system. When criminal activity is suspected, it is up to the government to investigate, arrest, charge and bring the alleged offender to trial. A prosecutor is a lawyer who works for the government and who is responsible for developing and presenting the government’s case against a criminal defendant. Prosecutors may be called county attorneys, city attorneys, district attorneys or states’ attorneys. Some jurisdictions may even have experienced police officers act as prosecutors in drunk-driving cases. The prosecutor is the opponent or “adversary” of the criminal defendant and his or her attorney; the two sides go head-to-head against each other in court. Read More Reliability of Breath-Test Results in a Drunk-Driving Case In every state in the U.S., a driver with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher is presumed to be legally intoxicated for drunk-driving purposes. Each state has also enacted an implied-consent law. Implied-consent laws provide that every licensed driver within the state is considered to have given his or her consent to chemical testing to determine his or her BAC whenever a law enforcement officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication. In most states, refusal to submit to such a test results in license suspension or revocation. Read More The Impact of a Drunk-Driving Conviction on Your Auto Insurance An alcohol-related car accident and subsequent drunk-driving conviction can bring many negative consequences into your life, possibly including jail or prison time, a criminal record, car repair or replacement, restitution, guilt and grief over harm to others, higher insurance premiums, a civil lawsuit, fines, court and administrative fees, community service, alcohol education, substance-abuse treatment, social stigma, restrictions on or revocation of your driver’s license, attorneys fees, restrictive probation and others. If you are arrested for or charged with drunk driving, a lawyer can advise you about your legal rights and help you fight the charges. Read More Drunk Driving Resource Links Impaired Driving Information and resources on drunk driving from a legal and social viewpoint and with a goal of prevention, provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). DUI/DWI Laws Link to informational chart about the drunk-driving laws of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, provided by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Century Council A not-for-profit organization dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking. American Council on Alcoholism and Treatment A national nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public and those with alcohol dependence about the effects of alcohol, alcoholism, alcohol abuse and options for recovery. Extensive information about drunk driving.