In California, “wet reckless” is the unofficial term used to
refer to a form of reduced
DUI charge. The most common reasons a DUI will be reduced to a wet reckless include:
- Your BAC level was close to .08%
- There are weaknesses in the prosecution's case against you
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 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.