Individuals around California can face a number of serious charges if they are accused of driving under the influence (DUI). In some cases, the prosecution may offer drivers accused of a DUI a plea bargain with lessened charges. These lessened charges can include California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5: Wet Reckless.
Drivers should ensure they understand the penalties associated with a wet reckless charge before accepting any plea bargain involving VC 23103/23103.5. The Simmrin Law Group can provide detailed information about this charge.
Providing a Legal Definition for Wet Reckless Charges
Wet reckless charges can be tricky to understand because they are only used as part of plea bargains in cases involving violations of charges that can include:
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(b): Driving With A Blood Alcohol Content Of 0.08 Percent Or Higher
- California Vehicle Code Section 23152(a): Driving Under The Influence Of Alcohol
- California Vehicle Code Section 23140: Under 21 DUI With Blood Alcohol Content Between 0.05-0.07 Percent
This means that a driver cannot be pulled over and faced with a wet reckless charge. Instead, prosecutors may choose to offer a wet reckless charge if they think they might have difficulties winning a DUI case.
Prosecutors decide to offer wet reckless charges for many reasons, including:
- A Police Officer May Have Lacked Probable Cause to Stop a Driver
- The Police Department May Have Handled or Stored Evidence Improperly
- The Driver Did Not Demonstrate Dangerous Driving
Drivers may also see benefits in accepting a wet reckless charge. Generally, a wet reckless charge will not be punished as harshly as a DUI conviction.
However, all drivers in California should be aware that a wet reckless is considered a priorable offense. This is important if a driver is pulled over for another DUI. The wet reckless will remain on the driver’s record, and it will count as a previous DUI conviction in this case. Drivers with previous DUI convictions will face harsher penalties in court if they are arrested again.
Going Over Penalties for Wet Reckless Charges
Drivers who are given wet reckless charges can face up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, in most cases drivers do not face the maximum penalties for wet reckless charges. Drivers may also be forced to attend an alcohol class if they accept wet reckless charges.
Understanding the Difference Between Dry Reckless and Wet Reckless Charges
Wet reckless charges are not the only charges used in plea bargains for DUIs in California. In some cases, a driver may be able to secure charges under California Vehicle Code Section 23103: Dry Reckless.
In many ways, dry reckless and wet reckless charges are very similar. However, dry reckless charges are more favorable to drivers because they are not prioarble. This means that if a driver has a dry reckless charge on their record, it will not count against them if they are pulled over for a DUI in the future.
While a driver cannot “beat” a wet reckless charge – since this charge is offered as part of a plea bargain – a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles may be able to help drivers arrange for dry reckless charges over wet reckless charges.
Examples of Situations Involving Wet Reckless Charges
Check out these examples to learn more about wet reckless charges in California:
The police pull over a woman who they suspect of drinking and driving. She is not breaking any laws, but they feel suspicious anyway. Her BAC measures at 0.08 and they charge her with a DUI. However, the prosecution decides to offer her wet reckless charges because the police officers did not have probable cause to stop her.
A man is pulled over for driving recklessly. The police officer who pulls him over measures his BAC and finds it to be over 0.08 percent. The driver is charged with a DUI, but the police officer fails to properly record the BAC test. The driver is offered a plea bargain with wet reckless charges.
Getting Legal Help Dealing with Wet Reckless Charges
Drivers who are accused of a DUI can face serious penalties. In some cases, the prosecution may offer to lessen these penalties with a plea bargain involving California Vehicle Code Section 23103/23103.5: Wet Reckless. The Simmrin Law Group can go over any plea bargains to see if they are right for you. Call us at (310) 997-4688 or complete our online contact form to learn more.
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