You have several options for resolving charges for driving under the influence (DUI) in California. The prosecution may even offer you a plea bargain. Many plea bargains require you to plead guilty to a “wet reckless.” Before you agree, you may wonder: is a wet reckless charge better than a DUI?
In many ways, a wet reckless charge is preferable to a DUI conviction in California. However, accepting a wet reckless charge is not always in your best interest. Find out more about wet reckless charges and their impact on you right here.
Facts About Wet Reckless Charges in California
Wet reckless is a nickname used to describe Vehicle Code 23103 in some cases. VC 23103 is used to prosecute drivers accused of reckless driving. The charge only becomes “wet” reckless if used as part of a DUI plea bargain.
Wet reckless charges are different than “dry” reckless charges. A conviction for wet reckless is priorable, which means it counts against you if you are arrested for another DUI. In fact, the court will attach a note to your criminal record if you accept a wet reckless charge. This note states that your offense included alcohol or drug use.
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Compare the Results of Wet Reckless and DUI Charges
So, if wet reckless charges are priorable, why are they preferable to a DUI conviction? You face less severe penalties if you agree to a wet reckless charge. Let’s compare the consequences for a wet reckless conviction with the results of a DUI right now.
Penalties for a Wet Reckless Charge
- Jail time of between 5 and 90 days
- Probation of between one and two years
- DUI school of up to six weeks
- No mandatory order to install an ignition interlock device (IID)
Penalties for a DUI Charge
- Jail time of up to six months
- Probation of between three and five years
- DUI school of up to nine months
- Possible order to install an IID
Consider Wet Reckless Charges and Subsequent DUI Arrests
We compared the consequences of a wet reckless charge and a first-time DUI. You should know that DUIs are all priorable in California, including wet reckless charges. Each time you are convicted of a DUI, it stays on your driving record for 10 years. You face harsher penalties for each additional DUI.
Therefore, many drivers accused of a second or third DUI consider accepting a wet reckless plea bargain. You face up to one year of jail time for a second or third DUI in California. However, the amount of jail time you face for a wet reckless charge does not increase.
Speak with a lawyer if you are interested in a wet reckless plea bargain. A lawyer may assess your situation — this could help you determine whether you should take a wet reckless plea bargain.
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Compare Wet Reckless and Dry Reckless Charges
The prosecution may offer you wet reckless charges as part of a plea bargain. Unfortunately, these charges are priorable. They count against you in future DUI accusations. Dry reckless charges are not priorable in California.
A DUI lawyer may help you secure dry reckless charges as part of a plea bargain. The penalties for a dry reckless charge match those for a wet reckless in many ways. However, dry reckless charges do not include a note regarding alcohol or drug use, making them preferable to wet reckless charges.
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Assess Other Methods of Resolving a DUI Charge
You do not always have to accept a plea bargain after a DUI arrest in California. A lawyer may work to get your DUI charges dismissed. Your charges do not count against you if they are dismissed in California.
A lawyer may also defend you in court. Your lawyer could work to bring you a not-guilty verdict after a DUI arrest. Drivers found not guilty do not face legal penalties. Discuss the best way to handle your DUI charges with a lawyer right now.
Talk to a Lawyer About Wet Reckless and DUI Charges in California
Is a wet reckless charge better than a DUI in California? In many cases, accepting a wet reckless plea bargain results in lower penalties for drivers. Find out if a wet reckless plea bargain is right for you by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Reaching us is easy. You may also fill out our online contact form.
We are prepared to provide you with a free consultation today.