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What is a Los Angeles Wet Reckless Charge?

  • September 1, 2017

    Getting arrested for driving under the influence is an extremely serious situation, and one that could potentially see you having license suspended and facing a huge fine and possibly jail time. For this reason, it is imperative that you seek help from an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney to give yourself a better chance of either beating the charge or possibly receiving less harsh punishments. With the help of a skilled DUI attorney, there is even the chance that you could potentially plea bargain down to a lesser charge of reckless driving, which is termed a wet reckless in cases where the driver was under the influence of alcohol. Although it is a fairly rare occurrence, successfully plea bargaining your DUI down to a wet reckless charge provides many benefits and will usually see you facing less severe penalties. With this in mind, we’ll now take a look at wet reckless charges in more detail to ensure that you understand exactly what this type of plea bargain entails.

    Reckless Driving and California Vehicle Code
    Under California Vehicle Code §23013, it is unlawful to drive a vehicle in any way that shows willful or wanton disregard for the safety of other drivers and property. Persons found guilty of violating this statute are charged with reckless driving. In some cases, a DUI lawyer may be able to get a DUI charge reduced to this lower offense of reckless driving—a so-called ‘wet reckless.’

    DUI vs. Wet Reckless: Benefits of Plea Bargaining
    Although both a DUI and a wet reckless charge are misdemeanors, getting your DUI charge reduced to a wet reckless still provides many advantages. For starters, plea bargaining down to a charge of wet reckless allows you to avoid having a DUI charge on your record. Even if the reckless driving charge will remain on your record, you can still avoid the stigma associated with a DUI.

    In addition, plea bargaining down to a wet reckless charge means that you will be facing less severe penalties. Generally speaking, the potential fines and jail time you will face for a wet reckless will be lower than those you would face should you be convicted of a DUI. Furthermore, a DUI conviction will see you having your license automatically suspended for a minimum of 30 days and also potentially having your license either restricted or suspended for up to one year. With a wet reckless charge, there is no automatic driver’s license suspension, which is obviously hugely beneficial for those who need to drive to work.

    When you agree to the wet reckless charge, you could still face anywhere between 5 and 90 days in jail and a fine between $145 and $1,000. However, you will at least have the benefit of a much shorter probationary period, which also means that the violation can be expunged from your record sooner than a DUI would be. In addition, pleading down to a wet reckless should also allow you to avoid alcohol education and rehabilitation courses, which are frequently required of anyone who is convicted of a DUI.

    How to Plea Bargain to a Wet Reckless Charge
    It is extremely rare for a prosecutor to automatically offer you a plea bargain. Instead, getting your DUI reduced to a charge of wet reckless usually involves negotiating, bargaining and pleading with the prosecution. Unfortunately, wet reckless charges are actually quite rare, which means you will need to make sure you hire an experienced, powerful DUI attorney to give yourself the best chance of reaching a plea bargain deal.

    Of course, your lawyer’s first priority should be getting the DUI charge dismissed outright. However, if the circumstances surrounding your case make this an impossibility, the best thing you can do is to attempt to have the charge reduced. In this case, the skill of your lawyer will be of primary importance. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, the prosecution may be extremely reluctant to offer you a plea bargain. Nonetheless, an experienced lawyer may still be able to successfully argue on your behalf and convince the court that you are an upstanding citizen, and as such, deserve to have your DUI charge reduced to a lesser offense.

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