A “wet” reckless plea bargain could impact your insurance rates in California. Generally, your rates will increase after you accept wet reckless charges. So, how long does a wet reckless conviction affect your insurance?
Your insurance may remain high until the wet reckless charge comes off of your driver’s record. This might take between seven and ten years. Find out more about how a wet reckless plea bargain can impact your insurance and your life with this article.
Understand Wet Reckless Charges in California
Before we discuss the repercussions of a wet reckless plea bargain, we should get familiar with this charge. Wet reckless accusations are not a stand-alone charge. In fact, a wet and reckless charge is only offered as part of a plea bargain for driving under the influence (DUI).
The prosecution may offer you a wet reckless deal after your arrest. California Vehicle Code Section 23103.5 handles this charge. Wet reckless charges are very much like the charges used to prosecute reckless driving. However, if you’re charged with wet reckless, California courts will place a note by the conviction that states that the charge involved the use of alcohol or drugs.
You must plead guilty to accept a plea bargain, which means that all plea bargains show up as convictions on your criminal record.
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How long does a wet reckless stay on your record?
DUI charges in California are considered priorable, meaning that they remain on your driving record. Generally, these charges stay on your record for 10 years. However, wet reckless charges may only show up for seven years in some cases.
There is no way to remove a DUI conviction from your driving record. Each time you are arrested for a subsequent DUI, the penalties you face increase. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) begins the countdown to the removal of your charges from your arrest.
Wet reckless charges count against you if you are accused of another DUI in California. If you’re worried about a subsequent DUI, reach out to a DUI lawyer by calling us.
Insurance Companies Look at Wet Reckless Charges
Your insurance company considers your driving record each time your policy is renewed. Note that insurance companies are not supposed to increase your rates while your policy is active. However, they may raise your rates when you renew your policy or if you make any changes to it.
Additionally, sometimes you are required to acquire SR-22 insurance after a DUI conviction. Requesting SR-22 insurance can prompt changes in your rates. Your rate increases last until the conviction comes off of your driving record, which means you could face years of increased insurance rates.
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Disclosing Your Wet Reckless Charge to Your Insurer
You are not required to disclose your wet reckless charge to your insurer unless you also receive a suspension of your license. However, your insurer can search your driving record at any time and discover the charge as long as it remains on your record.
That means you could see an increase in your rates when your policy comes up for renewal, even years after the charge.
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Safe Driver Discounts and Wet Reckless Charges in California
Your insurance rates will likely go up after you take a wet reckless plea bargain in California. In addition to a general increase, you might also lose discounts on your account. Insurance companies generally take away safe driver discounts after a wet reckless plea, for example.
You may reapply for these discounts after the wet reckless charges come off your record. However, some insurance companies will refuse to return these discounts. Talk to your insurance agent about the policies of your company.
Handle Wet Reckless Charges in California
Many drivers consider getting a DUI or wet reckless conviction expunged. Expunging a conviction removes it from your criminal record. However, doing so does not take charges off your driving record, so expungement does not change your insurance rates.
Talk to a lawyer before you accept a wet reckless plea bargain in California. A lawyer can work to bring you a plea bargain that works better for your situation. Sometimes, a lawyer could get you “dry” reckless charges.
A lawyer in California may also work to get your charges dismissed. Your insurance rates should not increase if your DUI charges are thrown out. A lawyer could even support you in court. Find out more about the best way to handle your charges by a law firm in California.
Alternative Charge to Wet Reckless
When the prosecution offers you a wet reckless plea deal, it means that they want to settle your case quickly or that they don’t feel their case is strong enough to convict you of a DUI. Oftentimes, both are true. While a wet reckless conviction is certainly preferable to a DUI conviction, it is still far from ideal.
An experienced DUI lawyer might be able to get you a better deal. The goal of a prosecutor is to get a conviction of the most serious offense they can in as short a time as possible. It is a results-driven occupation as the caseload for the prosecutor’s office tends to be very heavy. You can use this to your advantage.
Your lawyer could counter the offer of a wet reckless plea with a plea for dry reckless, which is not priorable and will have a lesser impact on your insurance rates. While beating the charge altogether is the best possible outcome, if your lawyer does not feel your case is strong enough, a dry reckless plea might be your best option.
If you are willing to plead guilty to dry reckless, there is a strong chance that the prosecutor will agree in order to get the case off their desk and chalk it up as another win.
Ask a Lawyer How Long Wet Reckless Charges Affect Your Insurance
How long does a wet reckless charge affect your insurance? Your insurance rates may remain high for up to a decade after a DUI, even if you accept a wet reckless plea bargain. Look into your options to handle a DUI arrest by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Find out how a DUI lawyer could help by calling us or filling out our online contact form.
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