Posted on: 23 December 2015
If you have been charged with driving under the influence, a DUI attorney can be beneficial. In some cases, they may be able to get the charges against you dismissed. In other cases, they may be able to get the charges reduced. Typically, the charges can be reduced under the terms of a plea bargain, especially if the case against you is not solid. DUIs are commonly pleaded down to wet and reckless driving. If you have never heard of this term, you may have many questions about it and how this charge differs from a DUI. Here are some frequently asked questions about wet reckless driving.
What is a Wet Reckless Driving Charge?
A wet reckless driving charge is a unique type of offense. It is not an arrestable offense. This means you can't be pulled over and charged with this offense. You are either charged with a DUI or you are not. Instead, this charge was placed on the books as a way to entice those charged with a DUI to plead their case out and push people through the court system. As such, there are no specific requirements that differentiate when a person is wet reckless driving and when a person is charged with a DUI.
How Does the Prosecutor Decide Who to Offer Wet Reckless Charges To?
Ultimately, it is up to the prosecutor to decide who they want to offer a plea bargain for wet reckless to and who they do not. There are many factors that they use when determining whose charges they may reduce. Typically, first time offenders who are right at the 0.08 blood alcohol indicator are offered this type of plea deal. Also, if the prosecutor feels the case against you may be weak, they may be more inclined to offer this plea bargain, rather than take your case to trial.
Why is it Beneficial to Plead Guilty to Wet Reckless Versus Driving Under the Influence?
When you plead guilty to a wet reckless charge, you are looking at a lighter sentence than if you are found guilty of driving under the influence. Your probation period is typically only a year or two, compared to three to five years with a DUI case, and your court-mandated fines are often lesser. Another major benefit to a wet reckless charge is that there is not a mandatory sentence with this type of charge. This is especially useful if you have previously been convicted of a DUI and are facing a high mandatory sentence for your second or third offense.
However, while there are some differences in the sentences related to wet reckless and driving under the influence, there are some similarities as well. The department of motor vehicles, or DMV, treats a wet reckless and DUI the same. Your drivers license will be suspended with both charges. Many insurance companies also view a wet reckless the same as a DUI and may heavily raise your insurance rates. Lastly, a wet reckless conviction or plea will count against you if you are charged with another DUI in the future. This can affect your mandatory sentencing for multiple alcohol-related driving charges.
How can a DUI Attorney Get Your DUI Charges Reduced to Wet Reckless Driving?
A DUI attorney can work with the prosecutor to work out a plea deal. If the prosecutor knows that you will plead guilty to a wet reckless charge, they may be willing to offer it, just to push your case through the court system. Alternatively, an attorney may question whether the breathalyzer was properly calibrated or if there were errors when your blood was tested. If the prosecutor feels that raising these questions if your case goes to trial may result in a not guilty verdict, they may be more inclined to offer you a plea deal.
Many DUI cases are reduced to wet reckless driving cases. If you are offered a plea deal to reduce your DUI charge to a wet reckless charge, you will want to be familiar with what this term means, so that you can make an educated decision on whether it is best to accept the deal. For more information, contact a DUI attorney from a firm like Chichester Law Office.Share