If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you may be able to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense with the help of an expert DUI lawyer. A possible charge reduction to whats commonly known as a “wet” – reckless driving, involving alcohol consumption – might be an excellent alternative to trial. In order to do this, however, you must have a strong argument for your defense—and having the right DUI lawyer representing you can greatly improve your chance of success. Given this fact, it is more important than ever for you to contact a skilled DUI lawyer immediately after your arrest to determine whether reducing your charge to a (wet) reckless driving offense is the best option for your case.
Although a (wet) reckless driving charge is the most common type of plea bargain given when a DUI is reduced for a plea bargain, that doesn’t guarantee it will be offered in your case. More often than not, you must be a first-time offender for the prosecutor to even consider reducing the charges against you. Unfortunately, this means that if you have been convicted of a prior DUI within the past ten years, you most likely will not qualify for the reduced charge of a (wet) reckless driving offense. However, our skilled DUI lawyers have been able to negotiate reduced charges to (wet) reckless driving offenses, even for multiple offenders.
The primary benefits of pleading guilty to a reduced charge are the penalties that go along with a wet reckless offense. Whereas a DUI conviction carries hefty fines, a minimum of six-month license suspension, an alcohol program of 3-32 months, and a possible jail sentence, the maximum punishment you can receive for a wet reckless charge includes a $1,000 fine and completion of a DUI education program of just a few short weeks—with no mandatory suspension or jail time required.
Despite having a lighter sentence, a wet reckless offense has one major drawback: It is considered a “prior” DUI, which means a conviction will still count against you in the future. In other words, if you are charged with another DUI several years later, you will be treated as a repeat offender. This means you’ll face harsher punishment than before. Many insurance companies also treat a (wet) reckless driving conviction as DUI, so your insurance rates may increase once your provider leans of your conviction.
As you can see, there are several aspects to consider before you agree to plead guilty to a (wet) reckless driving offense. Oftentimes, the fact that the prosecution is willing to reduce the charges against you only indicates that there are flaws in their case against you—and in such situations, you may obtain better results by fighting your charges in criminal court with the help of a skilled DUI lawyer.