“Wet Reckless” Plea Bargains For DUI Cases In Los Angeles, CA
There are several pleas that a defendant can use to downgrade the charges they may face for driving under the influence. Each of these pleas has their own advantages and disadvantages. These pleas are referred to as “wet reckless” and “dry reckless,” and the Los Angeles reckless driving attorneys of Braden & Tucci can advise which option is best for you.
Attorneys Helping Clients Accused Of Drunk Driving Get Their Charged Reduced
Here are some of the most common questions we have received about wet reckless pleas:
What Is A Wet Reckless?
Wet reckless is a reduced plea arrangement made by a driver arrested for a DUI. Essentially the driver pleads to reckless driving with alcohol involved, and if they are charged with wet reckless, they will likely face fewer punishments and costs that are associated with a traditional DUI.
A wet reckless is a special charge. While it cannot be charged as a violation of the law for a new case, the law allows a DUI charge to be downgraded to a wet reckless (or a reckless driving involving alcohol) from a DUI. It is commonly offered as a plea bargain to charges of driving under the influence or driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.
What Are The Pros Of A Wet Reckless Plea In California?
- Shorter jail time – For a first-time offender, jail time can be up to six months, and a repeat offender can face up to a year. However, the maximum jail sentence for wet reckless is 90 days, but it is often less.
- Lower fines – The fines for a first time DUI can add up to $3,000 or more, but the maximum fine for a wet reckless is $1,000.
- No license suspension – Those convicted of a DUI can expect a mandatory 6-month license suspension and this suspension can sometimes be even longer. With a wet reckless plea, there is no mandatory license suspension.
- Fewer alcohol school hours – Generally, with a DUI conviction, drivers will be obligated to not only attend about 30 hours of classes, but they will have to pay for these classes as well. Wet reckless, however, requires fewer hours in class and sometimes does not require the driver to attend any classes at all.
- No Ignition Interlock Device – A DUI conviction generally requires the driver to install an ignition interlock device (IID), but it is not required in the event of a wet reckless plea.
Additionally, a wet reckless can help to clear your record faster, you may receive less time on probation, and it may result in a lower penalty for those with a commercial license. Most importantly, a DUI will not appear on the driver’s criminal record.
What Are The Cons Of A Wet Reckless Plea?
If the driver is arrested for again for a DUI within the next ten years after the initial charge, the wet reckless will still count as a prior DUI and will include a much harsher punishment.
The driver’s license will still automatically be suspended because of the initial DUI arrest, and this suspension will need to be fought by requesting a DMV hearing within ten days of the arrest.
It is likely that the driver’s car insurance company will still treat the wet reckless plea as a DUI and insurance rates will still go up.
It will still add two “negligent operator” points to the driver’s DMV record.
What Is The Difference Between a DUI and Wet Reckless Charge?
First of all, a wet reckless conviction is not a DUI, and it may not bring the same consequences. The defendant can state that they were convicted of reckless driving and that will be the conviction that will appear on their criminal background instead of a DUI. This can make a remarkable difference when potential employers and licensing agencies do a background check.
In addition to this, a wet reckless will not trigger an automatic driver’s license suspension but, regardless of what happens in court, the DMV may still issue an administrative driver’s license suspension. For first time offenders, the suspension period is four months, but the driver would be able to get a restricted license after 30 days.
How Does A Wet Reckless Plea Work?
A wet reckless is not always offered in every DUI case, and the driver should understand the circumstances that generally allow a DUI charge reduction.
To get a wet reckless plea, the prosecutor and the defendant must both agree to a wet reckless plea bargain, and the court must also approve the plea deal. Then, the defendant will be allowed to plead guilty to reckless driving, and the court will dismiss the DUI charges, and the DMV will be notified of the conviction.
The prosecutor is most likely to agree to a wet reckless plea bargain if the defendant does not have a history of offenses related to drugs or alcohol, if the defendant’s BAC was under 0.08%, and/or if there are weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
Generally, the driver must be a first-time offender to be eligible for the plea bargain. The driver is also more likely to get a wet reckless if they are obedient and respectful to the officer. It is much easier to persuade the prosecutor if the driver has been cooperative.
Though a wet reckless is considered to be a better charge than a DUI, there are many aspects to consider before the driver agrees to plead guilty to a wet reckless driving offense. It is possible that there would be a better outcome if the charges are fought in a criminal court.
If there are weaknesses in the case, it may be worth considering fighting the charges rather than plead guilty. This is something that should be discussed with a skilled DUI attorney to determine the best strategy.
Contact Our Los Angeles DUI Law Firm To Learn How A Wet Reckless Plea Can Help You
If you have been arrested for a DUI and are interested in more information about reduced DUI charges such as wet reckless, you should get in contact with the experienced DUI attorneys of Braden & Tucci as soon as possible.
Though many factors are at play when it comes to a reduced charge, having the right legal representation is the best way to improve your chance of success. At Braden & Tucci, our Los Angeles DUI defense law firm has helped countless clients fight their DUI cases.
When you work an attorney from our firm, we can help determine whether or not you can reduce your charges, if it is the right choice, and more. To learn more about wet reckless and if it is something you should consider, contact us at (213) 935-7550.