California Wet Reckless
In California, a “wet reckless” is a plea bargain that is offered when your DUI case is not as strong as the prosecution would like. Law enforcement officers cannot arrest you for wet reckless driving, but it may be offered as an alternative in court to an actual DUI charge. As it is the goal of any DUI defense attorney to get their client’s charges dismissed or lessened, many DUI attorneys will attempt to negotiate for plea bargains such as wet reckless.
What is a plea bargain?
A plea bargain is an agreement between the defense and prosecution were the prosecution makes a concession (such as a lesser charge or reduced sentence) if the defendant pleads guilty. Wet reckless driving is one of the most common plea bargains seen in DUI cases.
Is wet reckless your best option?
A wet reckless charge comes with several advantages over a typical DUI conviction. A wet reckless charge has:
- No mandatory sentencing for repeat offenders– A wet reckless conviction requires no mandatory jail time-regardless of how many DUI convictions a person has. Someone facing a third California DUI charge can potentially escape 120 days or more of jail by getting their DUI charge lowered to a wet reckless.
- Shorter Jail Sentencing- Second and Third DUI offenses carry punishments ranging from 6-months to 1 full year in jail. A California wet reckless has a 90-day limit on jail sentencing.
- Shorter Probationary Period- A California DUI typically carries a two to five-year probationary period. Mandatory probation for a California wet reckless charge usually only lasts one to two years.
- Lesser Fines- Both a wet reckless and a first time DUI conviction share a maximum fine of $1,000. The courts will then typically add penalty assessments, which result in some DUI cases costing the person over $2,000. The fines imposed concurrently with a wet reckless are typically less than half of the normal DUI fines.
- No Mandatory License Suspension- A first time DUI conviction triggers the DMV to impose a six-month driver’s license suspension for first time DUI offenses. A wet reckless conviction triggers no license suspension. This can be especially beneficial for a person with prior DUIs or someone who is facing serious jail time.
- Less DUI Classes- A first wet reckless conviction can include a six-week alcohol education program. A California DUI conviction requires a person to attend a minimum three-month program.
However, if you are convicted of a second DUI, your wet reckless charge can result in an 18 to 30 month DUI course.
If you or loved one have been charged with wet reckless DUI or DUI, you need an Orange County DUI attorney for representation. Contact the Law Offices of Chad Maddox so we can help protect your rights.