DUI Law | Wet Reckless



Although the goal of a dedicated DUI defense attorney is always to get your DUI charges dismissed when possible, it's unfortunately not always possible. Therefore the next best option is to try and reduce the DUI charge to a lower charge. 

A wet reckless charge is a level lower than a DUI charge and therefore carries different penalties than a DUI does. However, a wet reckless is not a crime that you can be arrested for. Rather it is only a charge that can be negotiated for by a skilled California DUI defense attorney during the DUI negotiations process with the district attorney. 

The "wet" in wet reckless indicates that you were engaged in an alcohol related driving offense, it is a conviction of alcohol related reckless driving. 

There are several advantages of a wet reckless conviction. First, the maximum jail time does not increase with each subsequent conviction as is the case with California DUIs. A wet reckless carries a maximum 90 day jail sentence. A first DUI offense has a maximum jail sentence of six months which increases to one year for a second or third offense.

Second, a wet reckless conviction has a shorter maximum jail time limit. The maximum jail time for a wet reckless is 90 days whereas the maximum jail time is six months for a first DUI and one year for a second or third DUI. 

Third, a wet reckless also carries a shorter probation period of one to two years as opposed to the three to five year DUI probation period. 

A wet reckless also involves lesser fees, no mandatory license suspension, and a shorter DUI education program if imposed. 

Although there are many advantages to a wet reckless, there are some disadvantages as well. A wet reckless is still a priorable offense. This means that if you get convicted of any subsequent DUIs, your wet reckless conviction will count as a prior DUI and you will be sentenced as a repeat offender. Furthermore, although there is no mandatory license suspension associated with a wet reckless, your license could still be suspended by the DMV if your blood alcohol level was 0.08% or above, if you fail to request  a DMV hearing, or if you lose your DMV hearing. Lastly, although you have been convicted of a wet reckless, your insurance company could still treat your conviction as a DUI which could potentially trigger higher insurance premiums. 

Although there are some disadvantages of a wet reckless conviction, the advantages are still very substantial. If you have been arrested for a DUI, your only hope at a reduction to a wet reckless is through an experienced California DUI defense attorney. If you need help negotiating a plea bargain or if you want to find out whether your DUI charge could potentially be reduced, contact the Law Offices of Lucy Zheng for a consultation and case evaluation.