If you were recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you may be able to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense. In order to do this, however, you must have a strong argument for your defense—and having the right legal representation can greatly improve your chance of success. Given this fact, it is more important than ever for you to contact a skilled attorney immediately after your arrest to determine whether reducing your charge to California DUI wet reckless is the best option for your case.
Although a wet reckless driving charge is the most common type of plea bargain given to DUI offenders, that doesn’t guarantee it will be offered in your case. More often than not, you must be a first-time offender for the prosecutor to even consider reducing the charges against you. Unfortunately, this means that if you have been convicted of a prior DUI within the past ten years, you most likely will not qualify for the reduced charge.
The primary benefits of pleading guilty to a reduced charge are the penalties that go along with a wet reckless offense. Whereas a drunk driving conviction carries up to $3,000 in fines, a six-month license suspension, and a possible jail sentence, the maximum punishment you can receive for a wet reckless charge includes a $1,000 fine and completion of a DUI education program—with no mandatory suspension or jail time required.
Despite having a lighter sentence, a wet reckless offense has one major drawback: because the charge is only used in DUI plea bargains, a conviction will still count against you in the future. In other words, if you are charged with another DUI several years later, you will be treated as a repeat offender—which means you’ll face harsher punishment than ever before. Many insurance companies also treat wet reckless driving as DUI, so your insurance rates may increase once your provider leans of your conviction.
As you can see, there are several aspects to consider before you agree to plead guilty to a reduced wet reckless driving offense. Oftentimes, the fact that the prosecution is willing to reduce the charges against you only indicates that there are flaws in their case against you—and in such situations, you may obtain better results by fighting your charges in criminal court.
To determine the best strategy for your case, submit your information online today for a free, no-obligation consultation with a skilled DUI defense attorney in your area.