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San Antonio DWI Attorney

Protecting Your Rights & Driving Privileges

It starts with spotting those flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. Before you know it, your life could be upended after being charged with driving while intoxicated. DWI is a serious crime, and the penalties can be severe. On top of the fines and potential jail time, you could even lose your driver’s license.

If you have been charged with DWI, now is the time to retain aggressive representation from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Our San Antonio DWI lawyer, Attorney Derek S. Ritchie, is a fierce and results-driven advocate for his clients. Competitive by nature, Derek does everything in his power to achieve positive results. He fights hard for what his clients want and is unafraid of the courtroom.

Contact The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC at (210) 702-2203 to discuss your charges during a free and confidential consultation.

Types of DWI Cases We Defend

We provide robust legal representation for individuals facing various DWI charges. Our skill lies in leveraging our knowledge and resources to challenge accusations and pursue just resolutions for our clients. We understand the seriousness of our clients' legal matters and are dedicated to offering strategic defense strategies.

Here are some of the DWI cases we handle:

Our firm offers sound legal guidance and effective defense strategies tailored to each client's unique circumstances.

The Impact of a DWI Conviction

In Texas, DWI can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The circumstances of the incident will dictate the charges you face.

Though most DWIs are misdemeanors, you could be facing felony charges if:

  • You non-fatally injure someone
  • Someone dies as the result of your drunken driving
  • There is a child passenger in your vehicle at the time of the arrest
  • It is your third or subsequent offense

No matter the charges against you, you could be penalized with jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, mandatory drug or alcohol classes, and mandatory ignition interlock device installation.

Administrative License Revocation Hearings

In addition to a criminal trial, you’ll face an administrative license revocation (ALR) hearing if you are arrested for DWI. The Department of Public Safety holds ALR hearings to determine whether the charged driver will lose their driving privileges. 

You only have two weeks to schedule an ALR hearing after the date of your arrest, so act quickly. Failing to schedule a hearing could result in automatic license suspension.

Our San Antonio DWI attorney can defend you in this hearing and present evidence as to why your license should not be suspended or revoked. We are dedicated to protecting our clients’ driving privileges.

Overview of Texas DWI Penalties

A conviction for DWI in Texas carries harsh criminal penalties, such as driver’s license suspension for months or years, fines worth thousands of dollars, and even a lengthy jail sentence. 

The penalties for DWI in Texas include:

  • First DWI – Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail term of up to 180 days, a maximum fine of $2,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. However, if a person’s BAC is at least .15 percent—nearly double the legal limit—a first offense is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year, fines of up to $4,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to one year. 
  • Second DWI – Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to one year, a maximum fine of $4,000, and driver’s license suspension for up to two years. 
  • Third DWI – Third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years, a maximum fine of $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 
  • Underage DUI – Texas has a zero-tolerance law for drivers under the age of 21, which means if an underage driver has any alcohol in his/her system, he/she will be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUIA). If a minor is under 17 years old, then a first offense is a Class C misdemeanor, which carries driver’s license suspension for 60 days, a maximum fine of $500, and 40 hours of community service. If a driver is between 17 and 20 years old, then a first offense is a Class B misdemeanor. 
  • Commercial driver DWI – A commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder can be arrested for DWI with a BAC of at least .04 percent, which is half the legal limit for non-commercial motorists. A first offense is a Class B misdemeanor with CDL suspension for at least one year. 
  • DWI with a child passenger – If you are arrested for driving while intoxicated with a child passenger under 15 years old, you could be charged with a state jail felony, which carries a jail term of up to two years, a fine of up to $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 
  • DWI causing injury – Intoxication assault is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years, a maximum fine of $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 
  • DWI causing death – Intoxication manslaughter is a second-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment of up to 20 years, a maximum fine of $10,000, and driver’s license suspension for two years. 

Can a DWI Be Dismissed?

When facing DWI charges, it's important to understand that while they are serious, there are avenues to fight against them. Challenges with the DWI stop, arrest, or chemical testing, especially if conducted against proper procedures, can lead to evidence being excluded from the case. This can significantly weaken the prosecutor's arguments and potentially result in a dismissal of the charges.

However, it's crucial to note that securing a dismissal is not a guaranteed outcome. Even if evidence is challenged successfully, prosecutors might still pursue the charges. In such instances, opportunities may be available to seek a favorable resolution. Your criminal defense attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor to explore plea deals that might result in reduced charges or penalties.

In cases where an agreement cannot be reached, your attorney may advocate for your rights in court. They can present compelling arguments before a judge or jury, aiming to establish reasonable doubt and seek a favorable verdict.

Throughout this process, building a strategic defense is paramount regardless of your case's direction. This underscores the importance of working with an experienced DWI defense attorney who understands the intricacies of such matters.

If you're facing DWI charges, reach out to The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, PLLC. Call (210) 702-2203 today.

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5-Star Client Testimonials

Your Outcome Matters

At The Law Office of Derek S. Ritchie, you are our priority. See the different experience makes in our clients' own words.

    "Treats Us Like Family"

    Derek is a great attorney! Not only is he knowledgeable and reliable, but he takes care of his clients like they’re his family. Would highly recommend his services!

    - Joyce P.
    "I Would Highly Recommend This Practice"

    He listens to you, returns your calls, knows who to call in Bexar County, does what he says promptly, and on top of that, both he and his office manager Vanessa are SUPER friendly and empathetic.

    - John W.
    "They Gave Us Peace and Hope of a Future"

    He went above and beyond what we expected. We will forever recommend his law firm. Mr. Ritchie and Mrs. Vanessa were so much help they kept us informed... just when we thought we knew all the information they gave us more.

    - Former Client
    "Knowledgable and Sympathetic"

    Derek was very knowledgeable and sympathetic to my situation. He answered all my questions and I feel much better about the journey I have ahead of me.

    - Taylor M.
    "Amazing People!"

    Amazing people! Made my very stressful situation super easy. Always there when I need something and I love that they’re only a phone call away.

    - Yomira Q.
    "Everyone Was Compassionate"

    My experience was a great one, from the moment I picked up that phone to having a next-day free consultation!. They were so helpful, respectful, and professional throughout the whole thing!

    - Ashley C.
    "A Great Experience"

    Derek Ritchie is a professional and very reliable attorney. A huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders once he took on my case. It was a great feeling to know that I had him on my side.

    - Diana C.
    "All-Around Amazing!"

    They are so excellent and treat you like family. Very professional, efficient, listen to you and they take it from there. Just all-around amazing!

    - Jenna B.