You will be charged and convicted for driving under the influence of drugs for driving with a blood alcohol content that exceeds the legal limit. A conviction for this offense attracts severe penalties, including jail time or even a driver’s license suspension. Fortunately, a DUI charge can be reduced to a wet reckless, which is a lesser offense in California. With the help of a competent criminal defense attorney, you can get a plea bargain for a wet reckless. At Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Law Firm, we provide the best legal representation and guidance that will increase your chances of getting a wet reckless plea bargain. We serve clients from Orange County, CA, to ensure the best possible outcome for you in the case.
Overview of Wet Reckless in California
You cannot be charged with a wet reckless in California; instead, it is offered as a plea. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, your criminal defense attorney may work towards getting a wet reckless plea bargain from the prosecutor. However, a plea bargain is not always a guaranteed option for every DUI case. You are more likely to get the wet reckless plea for your first DUI case. There is a slimmer chance of getting this offer for a second and third DUI. However, with the help of a criminal defense attorney, the prosecutor can offer a wet reckless to a repeat offender.
You need to agree with the prosecutor about the plea deal before you accept it. Also, the court should approve the deal, then DUI charges will be dismissed as you are convicted for wet reckless. Since the court will not suspend your driver’s license for wet reckless, they will inform the Department of Motor Vehicle on the conviction.
Whether the plea bargain will be beneficial depends on the circumstances of your case. If you have a prior conviction for wet reckless or DUI, you may still be considered a repeat offender. This will enhance the penalties you receive after a conviction for this offense.
Benefits of Getting a Plea Bargain Offer in your DUI Case
With strong defense and competent legal guidance, you can compel the prosecutor to reduce your DUI criminal charges to a wet reckless. The advantages of getting wet reckless as a plea bargain include:
- Low Levels of Stigma
A conviction for driving under the influence of drugs will not only cause you to spend time in jail, but it may also affect your personal life. A DUI conviction may trigger a loss of professional licenses in California. This will include licenses held by medical practitioners. Although DUI does not trigger an automatic suspension of your professional license, you may be up for investigation. A wet reckless criminal record does not carry as much weight ad stigma as compared to that of driving under the influence of drugs. The ability to obtain wet reckless serves as a relief from the stress of DUI charges. However, a conviction for wet reckless will be reported to the DMV and the licensing board. The fact that the prosecutor reduced your Dui charge can help avoid disciplinary action.
- Shorter Jail Sentence.
A DUI conviction will attract a six-month jail sentence for a first offense and up to one year for a second and third offense. If you get wet reckless conviction instead of DUI, you will not necessarily spend time in jail. Also, the maximum jail sentence you can receive is ninety days.
- Reduced Probation Period.
If you are convicted for DUI in California, you will face a three- to five-year probation. On the other hand, probation for a wet reckless conviction will last one to two years. Getting shorter probation will help you apply for the expungement of the record as soon as possible. Before the records are expunged, they will appear in background checks and can be used against you in potential employment. When you are facing DUI charges, it is crucial to seek legal representation from a criminal defense attorney.
- Lower Fines.
A wet reckless charge in California will attract lower fines as compared to DUI. You will get a $3,000 maximum fine for driving under the influence of alcohol. If your attorney can be able to get your DUI charge reduced to a wet reckless, the fines will end up being half as much as that of DUI.
- Shorter DUI Program Attendance Time.
For a first wet reckless conviction, you will be sentenced to six weeks of DUI School. This a lesser sentence to the maximum three months alcohol education program for individuals convicted for driving under the influence of drugs. However, since the wet reckless offense, a prior conviction will increase your time I DUI School to nine months.
- You will escape a Mandatory Driver’s License Suspension.
A DUI conviction will cause an automatic driver’s license suspension as part of the legal penalties. Also, failure to submit to the chemical tests will get your license suspended. If your charge gets reduced to a wet reckless, you will not have to suffer a compulsory driver’s license suspension. However, it is essential to understand that the court will notify the Department of Motor Vehicle of your wet reckless conviction. The DMV may attempt to suspend your license, and you will also be registered as a negligent operator.
DMV Driver’s license Suspension for Wet Reckless
An arrest for driving under the influence of drugs will trigger a DMV driver’s license suspension. Even when you get a plea bargain, and your charge is reduced to a wet reckless, you will have to contest the suspension in court. The administrative hearing to fight license suspension is not automatic; you will be required to request a hearing within the first ten days of an arrest. Failure to request the trial will cause an automatic suspension.
At the hearing, you will present your evidence to try and contest the suspension of your license. The fact that your charges were reduced from DUI to wet reckless, you may have a better opportunity at winning the hearing. However, the outcome of the hearing will not affect the penalties you get after a conviction of the criminal case. The DMV hearing will take place before your criminal case is settled. Sometimes the DMV may delay the process, which will give you enough time to negotiate a plea bargain.
If your driver’s license is suspended by the DMV for wet reckless, you can be allowed to continue driving on an ignition interlock. An ignition interlock device is a Breathalyzer machine that records the alcohol in your breathe before you start the car. You must install the IDD after a DUI, but for a wet reckless, the installation of this device will be at the discretion of the court. If you want to request a DMV hearing to contest the suspension of your license, it would be wise to consult a criminal defense attorney.
Setbacks of Accepting a Wet Reckless Plea Bargain
In most cases, getting a wet reckless charge Instead of DUI will be beneficial to you. Unfortunately, there are instances where it will treat as a DUI, which include:
- Wet reckless acts as a prior in future convictions for DUI. In California, wet reckless is treated as a priorable offense. If you are charged with a DUI within ten years after a wet reckless, you will be considered a repeat offender. California DUI laws are stringent on repeat offenders, and your penalties may be enhanced. In this case, getting a wet reckless plea bargain will not help you avoid a repeat offender conviction.
- You will get a negligent operator status. A conviction for reckless driving would add two points to your record if you were driving on a class C driver’s license. If you accumulate more than four points in 12 months or 8 points in 36 months, your license will be suspended. Getting points to your record will cause you a negligent operator status.
- A wet reckless conviction will affect your motor vehicle insurance. Even when your DUI charge is reduced to a wet reckless, which is a lesser offense, motor vehicle insurers may still treat it as a DUI. Most insurers will increase the premiums for insurance coverage if you are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs.
- Your driver’s license can still get suspended. You cannot be arrested for wet reckless in California. With a good defense, you can try to invalidate the prosecutor’s evidence in your DUI case. By doing so, you can negotiate with the prosecutor to get wet reckless charges as a plea bargain. Getting convicted for wet reckless will not trigger a court-imposed license suspension. However, the Department of Motor Vehicle will be notified of the conviction and attempt to suspend your license.
- A wet reckless conviction may affect potential employment. Even if it is offered as a plea bargain, the conviction record for wet reckless will eventually be discovered during a background check done by employers. Most employers may ask for details out the charge and conviction for this offense or use it to deny you employment
Wet Reckless Expungement
Getting convicted for DUI or eve wet reckless can be embarrassing since they will always appear in your record. However, the conviction does not have to remain in your record forever. By applying to expunge your conviction, you will be free of the consequences that accompany the record. You will be allowed to apply for an expungement after successful completion of probation. Also, employers will not discriminate against you for the conviction. If you get a wet reckless plea, it will be easier to get an expungement. This is because you will serve a shorter probation period. Seeking guidance from a criminal defense attorney is one of the wisest decisions you can make when trying to expunge your criminal records.
Wet Reckless Frequently Asked Questions
Understanding the art of negotiating from a wet reckless plea bargain in a DUI case will require legal expertise. Therefore, it is essential to consult a criminal defense attorney for further clarification. The following are the most frequently asked questions about a wet reckless charge in California:
- When am I more likely to receive a wet reckless plea in California?
Whether you receive a wet reckless offer for your DUI case or not will depend on the circumstances of your case and your criminal history. If you had a blood alcohol content right at 0.08% and the prosecutor does not want to lose the case, they may offer you a wet reckless as a plea bargain. Also, if you do not have a significant history of drug abuse-related offense, and there is a weakness in the prosecutor’s case, it will be easy for you to get the offer. If you have a previous DUI conviction, it could be difficult for you to receive a wet reckless charge instead of DUI. However, a strong defense can increase your chances of getting this plea in a subsequent DUI case.
- Will my driver’s license be suspended for wet reckless?
If you get a wet reckless plea for a DUI charge in California, the court will not automatically suspend your driver’s license. However, a wet reckless will be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicle. The DMV treats this offense the same as a DUI. You will have an opportunity to request a DMV hearing where you can contest the suspension of your driver’s license. If you had a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08% or lose the DMV hearing, your driver’s license will be suspended.
- After a conviction for wet reckless will, I require to get SR-22 insurance?
An SR22 is a certificate filed with the state after a license suspension to show your responsibility to vehicle insurance in California. A conviction for wet reckless will not trigger your need to obtain SR22 insurance. However, losing the DMV hearing and getting your license suspension, you will need insurance for your license to be reinstated.
- Is wet reckless considered a prior conviction I future DUI convictions?
In California, wet reckless is a priorable offense. If you are convicted for DUI before the end of ten years from a wet reckless, the court will consider you a repeat offender. This is because a wet reckless is regarded as a prior count of DUI. This will enhance the penalties you get for the offense.
- How will a wet reckless plea help me if it is still considered a prior count of DUI?
Even when the offense carries the same weight as DUI in future convictions, a wet reckless will look much better on your record. If you are trying to get employment or legal certificates, a wet reckless record ensures that the employers will not discriminate against you. A wet reckless will have shorter probation periods, after which you can quickly get an expungement of the record.
Plea Bargains you can receive in a DUI Case besides Wet Reckless
A wet reckless is the most common plea a prosecutor is likely to offer you in DUI criminal case. However, the following pleas can also get to your DUI case:
You will be charged with dry reckless when you drive with disregard for the safety of other people. If you are arrested and charged with a DUI, you can try to convince the prosecutor to take dry reckless as a plea bargain. The prosecutor may offer you a dry reckless as plea circumstances where there was no clarity in the BAC results. Your blood alcohol content results are the main piece of evidence in a DUI case. If your attorney can argue the accuracy of these tests or prove that your blood alcohol content was less than 0.08%, the prosecutor may offer you a dry reckless plea.
If you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs, the DMV will attempt to suspend your driver’s license. However, you have the opportunity to request a DMV hearing and contest the suspension. Success in the DMV hearing may create a doubt in the criminal case and prompt the prosecutor to offer you a plea. A dry reckless is a more advantageous plea as compared to dry reckless. This is because a dry reckless is not a priorable offense ad will not be considered in the case of a future DUI conviction.
Also, your motor vehicle insurer will not treat dry reckless as an alcohol-related offense. A conviction for DUI is likely to affect your vehicle insurance limits, which will not be the case for dry reckless. Since dry reckless does not involve drunk driving, it is charged as a misdemeanor.
Exhibition of Speed
You will be arrested and charged under California Penal Code 23109 for engaging in a motor vehicle exhibition of speed on the highway. This could either be from drunk driving or just recklessness. When charged with an exhibition of speed, the prosecutor must prove the following elements to get a conviction:
- You were driving a motor vehicle on the highway
- While driving, you intentionally accelerated and operated at a speed that was unsafe for other road users
- You did this to show off
- You aided another person to commit the offense.
If you are facing DUI charges in California, you can pursue a plea for an exhibition of speed. Where the testimony made by the arresting officer is inconclusive, or the result of your chemical tests is in doubt, you can be charged with an exhibition of speed instead of DUI. To challenge the results of your blood alcohol test, you will require legal advice from a criminal defense attorney. Other factors that may influence a prosecutor to reduce a DUI to an exhibition of speed are:
- The procedure of stopping your vehicle was unlawful
- An officer harassed you or coerced you into taking a chemical test during the arrest. If there were eyewitnesses or footage showing the occurrences, it might greatly help your case.
- A clear indication that the high blood alcohol content detected in your blood resulted from a pre-existing medical condition
- Lack of sufficient proof that your conduct was influenced by the use of alcohol or other drugs
In California, an exhibition of speed is a lesser offense as compared to DUI. If you can get an exhibition of speed plea in your DUI case, you will receive lower fines and jail sentences. A DUI conviction attracts a penalty of up to five years, while an exhibition of speed conviction is two years. Also, an exhibition of speed is not considered a drunk driving offense. If you commit another DUI in the future, you will not be charged as a repeat offender. An exhibition of speed can be charged as a misdemeanor or an infraction.
Drunk in Public
California law will punish individuals who drink in public and exhibit behavior that disregards safety. The prosecutor must prove that you were willfully intoxicated, and the alcohol affected the way you behaved in a public place. By fighting the fact that you were drunk driving in your DUI case, your charge can be reduced to drunk in public. Since drunk in public offense clears your drunk driving charges, you may be able to retain your driver’s license. A competent criminal defense can help increase your chances of receiving a drunk in public charge instead of DUI.
Find a Orange County Criminal Lawyer Near Me
You cannot be arrested for wet reckless in California. A wet reckless is a plea bargain you will get when there isn’t sufficient evidence to convict you for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you or your loved one is charged with a DUI, you can strive to get a wet reckless plea bargain, which guarantees lesser penalties. The process of getting a reduction of your charges is complicated, and you will require legal representation. An attorney from Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney Law Firm is the best option you have at getting your DUI charges reduced to wet reckless. Contact us today at 714-740-7848 from any location in Orange County and allow us to guide you through the case.