A driver who was arrested for driving under the influence often believes that they have few – if any – options available to them. The fact of the matter is that you do have options. In some cases, pleading guilty to a charge of “wet reckless” may be the best option. Keep reading to learn what this term means and how it may apply to your case, then contact Law Office of Michael L. Fell at (949) 585-9055 for a free legal consultation.
What is a “Wet Reckless”
There is no official “wet reckless” crime you can plead guilt to. Instead, it is a term that is used to describe a plea agreement between a driver who was under the influence of alcohol. Essentially, it allows you to plead guilty to reckless driving with alcohol involved. This generally comes with lesser consequences, lower costs, and fewer obligations compared to pleading guilty to a DUI.
Qualifying for a Wet Reckless
The prosecution does not allow just anyone to plead to a wet reckless. For example, if you have a criminal history then you are unlikely to be allowed to plead to this lesser charge. It is also more likely that you will be able to plead to a wet reckless if your blood alcohol content was just over the .08% requirement. Additionally, if there is property damage, you attempted to evade the police, or other special circumstances, the prosecution is not likely to allow a wet reckless.
Potential Penalties for a Wet Reckless Charge
If you are convicted of a DUI, the probation period after the charge is likely three to five years. For a wet reckless, the period of probation is usually one year but never more than two years. It is also important to note that a wet reckless can be expunged after the sentence is completed. This essentially removes it from your criminal record.
Your Wet Reckless Will Count as a First DUI
The main advantage to pleading guilty of wet reckless is that you will pay less in fines and will likely serve not time in jail. However, if you are arrested in the future for a DUI, and it is within ten years of your wet reckless charge, then your wet reckless will be treated as a first DUI. As a result, your new charge will be treated as a second DUI even though you did were not convicted of a DUI.
Insurance Rates Can Rise More Than You Would Think
Most people would likely assume that a person with a DUI on their record would pay more for insurance than a person with a wet reckless conviction. This is false. The truth is that statistics show that a person who has a wet reckless on their record is more likely to get into an accident than a person with a DUI on their record. As a result, wet reckless leads to higher insurance rates.