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Why Is A Wet Reckless Better Than A DUI?

Posted by Ronald D. Hedding | Dec 13, 2018

When it comes to DUIs, I hear a lot of people talking about wet reckless. They're not necessarily that much better than a DUI, although if I had my choice between a DUI and a wet reckless, I would pick a wet reckless.

But other charges are better than a wet reckless. For example, a dry reckless is much better because it doesn't involve alcohol, there's less punishment, it doesn't trigger several things, and it's not priorable.

Priorability has to do with getting a wet reckless, and then in the future, if you get another DUI within ten years, it would count as a second-time DUI.

So, that makes the wet reckless priorable, and obviously, that's not something you want to have on your record. Insurance companies will not look favorably on you if you have a wet reckless on your record. It's probably going to cause your insurance rate to go up.

Although a wet reckless is better than a DUI — and I would rather have that on my record than a DUI in Los Angeles — there are still other charges related to DUIs that you'd rather have on your record than a wet reckless. In addition to a dry reckless, a speed contest would be a much better charge in Los Angeles than a wet reckless.

Then the next question is, if you're not able to get a dry reckless or speed contest or something less than a DUI, how could you get a wet reckless?

The factor of Having a Prior Criminal Record

What it boils down to — the factors that I've seen in practicing DUI defense over the last twenty-five years is — whether you have any prior criminal record involving lousy driving or any form that involves a DUI.

It will make it a lot more challenging to get a wet reckless if you do. On the other hand, if you have a clean record and your blood alcohol level was close to the legal limit, you're in a much stronger position to argue for a wet reckless.

The range, in general — because it varies depending on a bunch of different factors — but being a .10, .11, .12 and not having any record and not doing anything egregious during your stop for a DUI, puts you in a much stronger position to be able to argue for a wet reckless.

Punishment for Wet Reckless

The next question that we probably see when dealing with these offenses is the punishments related to wet reckless' in Los Angeles. If you are convicted of a wet reckless, the penalty is negotiable, meaning the prosecutors can offer whatever they want.

Sometimes they say, we gave you something better than a DUI, and therefore, we are not going to change the punishment. You're still going to do a fine that's $390 plus penalty assessment. You're still going to do the three-month alcohol program.

You're still going to be on probation for three years, but we will give you that wet reckless, so your record looks better than if you got a full-fledged DUI in Los Angeles County.

So, that is one thing that the prosecutors can do when it comes to a wet reckless conviction. Another thing is they can give you a minor fine. Instead of $390 plus penalty assessment — which works its way out to about $2,000, they could give you $240 plus penalty assessment which saves you a significant amount of money once they tack that 200% penalty assessment on you related to your DUI matter.

So, one area they could help you with is delicate. They could also put you on minor probation. For example, they could put you on a two-year or one-year probation if the prosecutors were inclined. That would be better than the typical three to five-year probation for a first-time DUI.

Typically, you're not going to get jail time on a first-time DUI in Los Angeles. But, if it's a second-time DUI, you will get mandatory jail time. You could avoid that jail time by getting wet reckless. One of the most significant benefits that I see that a wet reckless gives you in Los Angeles — is avoiding jail time for a second offense.

Avoiding Alcohol Program

So, that's one area you can save as far as a wet reckless goes. Also, you could sometimes avoid doing the alcohol program when it comes to a wet reckless conviction. The only time you'll need to do the alcohol program is if you want to get your driver's license back.

Then you'll have to do it — even if you get a wet reckless and no license suspension.

So, the bottom line is, if you have a situation where you're arrested for a DUI and you need some help. Give me a call. We'll sit down and strategize how to get you the lowest possible resolution. If a dismissal is in the cards for you, we'll try to get that.

If not, we'll try to get you something lower than a first-offense DUI in Los Angeles, and if the wet reckless is the right thing to get based on your circumstances, that's what we will shoot for.

Related Resources:
How can I get my DUI reduced to reckless driving?

About the Author

Ronald D. Hedding

What Makes Ronald Hedding Uniquely Qualified To Represent You? I've been practicing criminal defense for almost 30 years and have handled thousands of cases, including all types of state and federal sex crime cases. All consultations are discreet and confidential.

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