In California, “wet reckless” is a common plea bargain from
DUI. This type of charge is unique because you cannot be arrested for it—only
when you are able to reduce your DUI charge.
If you bargain your DUI charges down to a wet reckless, what technically
will occur is that you will be convicted of “dry reckless.”
However, a dry reckless charge suggests that no alcohol was involved,
which is why a wet reckless will note that alcohol and/or drugs were involved
in the arrest which resulted in the conviction.
The prosecution will most likely reduce a DUI to a wet reckless if one
of the following applies to your case:
- Your BAC level was close to 0.08 percent
- There are some weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you
The main advantages of a wet reckless compared to a DUI are the significantly
reduced penalties the former offers. For example, a wet reckless is punishable
by a maximum jail sentence of 90 days, while a DUI carries a maximum jail
sentence of six months. Additionally, wet reckless carries a lower minimum
jail sentence than DUI for individuals with prior DUI convictions.
When it comes to fines, theoretically, a maximum fine for either wet reckless
or DUI is $1,000. Due to court-imposed “penalty assessments,”
however, many people convicted of DUI end up paying as much as $3,000
in fines, while fines related to wet reckless are often half or less of
what you would pay if convicted of a DUI.
For those worried about losing your driving privileges, wet reckless does
not carry any form of license suspension. On the other hand, a first-time
DUI conviction can result in a mandatory six-month license suspension,
and a year or more for subsequent offenses.
Although there are plenty of benefits, there are some disadvantages as
well. For instance, if you get convicted of a subsequent DUI offense within
ten years of your wet reckless conviction, the court will treat that conviction
as a prior DUI for sentencing purposes.
If you are charged with DUI and considering a plea deal to wet reckless,
you must retain experienced legal representation from a skilled
criminal defense attorney. At
Appel & Morse, we can thoroughly evaluate your case and help you obtain the best results possible.
Contact us and schedule a
free criminal consultation to let us protect your rights and future today.