If you have been arrested for a first-time DUI offense in California, a conviction can result in harsh penalties such as costly fines, loss of driving privileges, and even jail time. If you believe it will be extremely difficult to obtain a not-guilty verdict or get your entire case dismissed, it is still possible to get your DUI charge reduced to “wet reckless” through a plea bargain with the prosecution, depending on the circumstances of your case.
The following are the common reasons why the prosecution would offer a plea deal for a DUI charge:
- The defendant was charged with his/her first DUI offense
- The defendant does not have a criminal record
- The defendant’s BAC was at or just below the legal limit
- The evidence is too weak for the prosecutor to obtain a guilty verdict
A wet reckless charge is typically offered as a plea bargain, according to California Vehicle code 23103.5 VC. The difference between wet and “dry reckless” is that the former involves alcohol or drugs.
The benefits of obtaining a wet reckless conviction compared to a DUI are simple: the penalties for a California reckless driving charge is not as serious as a drunk driving conviction. However, if a defendant is convicted of another DUI within the next ten years, he/she will be charged as a repeat offender.
The advantages of a wet reckless charge include:
- Shorter jail term – A wet reckless conviction is punishable by a maximum 90-day jail sentence, while a DUI conviction can lead to a jail term of up to six months.
- No license suspension – Your driver’s license will not be suspended if you are convicted of wet reckless. However, a first-time DUI offender will be subject to a six-month license suspension.
- Lower fines – A DUI conviction can result in up to $3,000 worth of fines, while a wet reckless conviction can lead to a maximum $1,000 fine.
If you have been charged with a DUI in Santa Rosa, contact the Law Offices of Evan E. Zelig, P.C. today at (707) 418-5352 and schedule a free consultation today.