A DUI conviction can result in jail time, fines, license suspension, and other serious penalties. In addition, having such a charge on your criminal record can harm your professional reputation and personal life.
However, depending on the circumstances, it is possible for a defendant to plead to a reduced DUI charge. One of the most common reduced DUI charges in California is “wet reckless.”
Wet reckless is a nickname for a specific reckless driving charge which results from a plea deal to charges of drunk driving. On the defendant’s criminal record, a note referring to alcohol or drug use is included.
This is considered a huge win for a defendant’s case. Although wet reckless is still a serious charge, the penalties are significantly less.
The following are the benefits of a wet reckless charge:
- Less jail time - A maximum jail sentence for wet reckless is 90 days, or perhaps less, while a first-time DUI is six months.
- No mandatory license suspension - A person convicted of wet reckless doesn’t lose their driving privileges. On the other hand, a DUI conviction results in a mandatory six-month license suspension. However, the DMV will still automatically suspend the license of someone arrested for DUI.
- Lower fines - While a wet reckless is still costly, resulting in a fine of up to $1,000, a DUI conviction can cost thousands.
- Other benefits - Not only does a wet reckless result in shorter DUI school and probation, repeater offenders do not suffer mandatory sentence enhancements.
It is important to remember that if a person convicted of wet reckless is arrested for DUI again in the future, the wet reckless will count as a prior DUI conviction for sentencing purposes. Furthermore, your auto insurance company may still increase your premiums, in the same manner, they would for a DUI.
Both the prosecutor and the defendant (and their attorney) must agree to a wet reckless plea bargain. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side can help find a weakness in the prosecution’s case to provide an incentive to make a deal.
For more information, contact The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch and request a free consultation with our Fresno DUI attorney today.