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.
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:
- First-time DWIs: A first-time DWI charge involves driving while intoxicated, where an individual's mental or physical faculties are impaired due to alcohol consumption or a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more.
- Multiple DWIs: Penalties can be more severe for second, third, and subsequent offenses. These cases require a more strategic defense approach due to the occurrence of the alleged violation after a prior conviction.
- DWI drugs: Our practice extends beyond alcohol-related cases. We handle situations where a person is charged with DWI due to impairment caused by a controlled substance or drug, regardless of whether it is legal or illicit.
- Felony DWIs: We are well-equipped to handle cases that result in felony DWI charges. These can arise from circumstances such as DWI with a child passenger, DWI causing injury or death, or multiple DWI charges. A felony on a criminal record can create hurdles in securing opportunities such as employment and housing.
- Intoxication assault: If an accident occurs while driving under the influence and results in serious bodily injury to another person, you may face charges of intoxication assault. We are experienced in navigating these complex cases.
- Intoxication manslaughter: In cases where driving while intoxicated leads to a fatal accident, resulting in the death of another person, charges of intoxication manslaughter may apply. Our legal team is adept at providing comprehensive defense in such grave situations.
Our firm offers sound legal guidance and effective defense strategies tailored to each client's unique circumstances.
The Impact of a DWI Conviction
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.
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.