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What is a Dry Reckless Charge in San Diego?

  • September 1, 2017

    As per California Penal Code 23013, it is against the law for anyone to drive a vehicle on a highway with wanton disregard for the safety of other people and property. In San Diego, any person who exhibits a willful or wanton disregard can be charged and convicted of a dry reckless under this penal code. In general, the statute differs from certain others because a person cannot be arrested having only this charge. It is common for a dry reckless charge to be given to a person who has already been charged with driving under the influence (DUI).

    In spite of the frequency with which a person can be offered a reckless driving charge, it’s rare that a prosecutor will offer it to a person who has been arrested on suspicion of a DUI. The reckless driving charge is something that has to be negotiated and bargained for by a skilled DUI attorney.

    What is a Dry Reckless Charge?

    “Dry reckless” also known simply as “reckless driving.” There are two different types of reckless driving charges. Dry reckless is one and wet reckless is the other. A dry reckless charge is offered when there is no alcohol or drugs involved in the crime. However, on the flip side, a wet reckless charge involves the use of alcohol or drugs.

    In order to accept a plea bargain for a dry reckless charge, a person must plead guilty to the charge.

    What are the Differences Between a DUI and Dry Reckless Charge?

    If a person is convicted of driving under the influence, they face harsher penalties that typically include a fine ranging anywhere from $390 to $1,000 as well as time spent in jail. In addition, individuals who are convicted of a DUI are often required to be on probation and take alcohol rehabilitation classes. A DUI conviction generally also includes a mandatory suspension of the person’s driver’s license for 30 days. Afterward, an additional term of license suspension may be determined by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    With a dry reckless conviction, the penalties are considerably lower and less severe. Because a charge of reckless driving is considered to be a misdemeanor, a person who is convicted can expect a considerably lower sentence all around. In addition, the individual’s driver’s license is not suspended with such a conviction.

    Probation may be required, but it is much less severe with a reckless driving charge than with a DUI. However, if the person commits a crime during their probationary period, they will receive a harsh punishment.

    After the probation is over, it means all the terms have been met. The individual then has the option of asking the court to expunge the wet reckless conviction from his or her record. After it is expunged, the record is sealed, which means it is not publicly accessible.

    What are the Specific Penalties for a Dry Reckless Conviction?

    In San Diego, California, if you are convicted of a dry reckless or reckless driving, there are minor penalties. These are the penalties to expect:

    • A minimum fine of $145
    • Two points on your driving record

    Unlike with a conviction for DUI, with a dry reckless charge, there is no mandatory license suspension and no jail time required. In addition, it’s important to remember that a dry reckless conviction is not associated with alcohol or drugs, which means it won’t come back to haunt you in the way a DUI conviction could. Most often, if you don’t have the conviction expunged from your record, a reckless driving conviction is overlooked by employers, insurance companies and other professional associations.

    How Do You Get a Dry Reckless Offer?

    Generally, a dry reckless charge is offered to people who have been picked up for DUI for a first-time offense. A person can be offered the dry reckless charge if they meet the following criteria:

    • The individual’s blood alcohol concentration was less than 0.8 percent
    • The person has a DUI defense attorney representing them

    Usually, the best chance a person has for being offered a dry reckless charge is when their BAC was low. This is why a dry, rather than wet, reckless charge is on the table.

    If you have been arrested for a DUI in the San Diego area, it’s wise to immediately get in touch with a skilled defense attorney. Your lawyer can work diligently to get the DUI charge reduced to a dry reckless.

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