Wet Reckless Plea Bargain in a California DUI Case
This is one of the big requests a lot of clients have — they want a wet reckless instead of a first-time DUI. The difference between the two is not that significant. A wet reckless is you're driving recklessly on the road and you had alcohol in your system.
Whereas, in a DUI, you're driving in an unsafe manner and you can't safely operate your motor vehicle and you had alcohol, some sort of drug or a combination of both in your system.
Wet reckless is charged under California Vehicle Code 23103.5. It's not an offense you can be charged with at time of arrest, but is only used when the prosecution makes an agreement to reduce a DUI charge. It's a type of plea bargain, which is a deal where you agree to a less serious offense than the one you were originally charged with.
Obviously, if you had your choice you would choose a wet reckless of a first-time DUI, but again the difference is not that much, in the sense that a wet reckless if going to be treated the same as a first-time DUI for purposes of priorability.
Meaning, were you to get wet reckless and then within ten years of that wet reckless you picked up another DUI or wet reckless, it would be a second-time DUI and you would be treated like your first DUI was — like a full-fledged DUI.
Wet Reckless Carries Lower Penalties
Usually with a wet reckless, the purpose is a little bit less. The fine is not as high. The probation sometimes can be a couple of years instead of three years and obviously, it's not as bad of a stigma on your record as a full-fledged first-time DUI.
So, if you had your choice between a DUI and a wet reckless, obviously you would choose the wet reckless. But again, the difference is not that significant in the big scheme of things.
In order to get a wet reckless in Los Angeles county, your blood alcohol level going to have to be fairly low. In other words, if you blew double the legal limit you have a very small chance of getting a wet reckless.
If on the other hand, you blew a .10, .09, .11 and your driving wasn't that bad and you did pretty well on the field sobriety test, then you have a pretty strong chance on your first-time DUI to get a wet reckless.
Prior DUI Convictions
Where I see wet reckless helping people out is when they have prior DUI's and now they've picked up a new DUI and they're facing a second, third or fourth-time DUI. Then obviously getting a wet reckless would be much better than getting a full-fledged DUI because with a wet reckless — for purposes of a second, third or fourth offense.
You can make the argument that it is not a full-fledged DUI and therefore, it's not a second offense. It's not a third offense. It's not a fourth offense. This is a pretty good argument.
Of course, the prosecutors are going to see your prior criminal record and they're going to try to use that against you when it comes to sentencing you and how they deal with you, but if you can get a wet reckless and you've had prior DUI's, you're in a much stronger position to avoid some of the mandatory minimum sentences that the legislature has set up when you get multiple DUI's.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving of course is involved, especially in Los Angeles, California when it comes to DUI's and a wet reckless.
DUI Lawyer Negotiating For A Wet reckless
So, if you're looking to get a wet reckless because you believe that the prosecutors have pretty good evidence against you for a DUI but you just don't want that DUI conviction, obviously you're going to want to find an attorney who knows how to negotiate a plea bargain, and has been successful in getting a wet reckless and knows what the factors are to get that charge — to get that conviction versus a first-time, second-time, third-time or fourth-time DUI charge.
I've been doing this for twenty-five years. I've had a lot of success when it comes to mitigating or lessening charges as it relates to a DUI. If you need help, pick up the phone and make the call. I'm more than happy to get you out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible.