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DUI Reduction: Wet Reckless

If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence (“DUI”) in the state of California, you could be looking at some serious penalties. However, with an experienced Torrance DUI attorney like Robert Ernenwein by your side, some (maybe even all) of the possible penalties can be avoided. One method used is to bargain for reduced charges, such as a wet reckless charge.

What Is A ‘Wet Reckless’ Charge?

A wet reckless is not necessarily what it sounds like in that you need not actually have been driving visibly recklessly for the charge to apply. Basically, a wet reckless means that you were “reckless” in your decision to drive with a blood alcohol content of more than .08 OR while under the influence of drugs.

Comparing The Penalties For Wet Reckless Vs. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that a wet reckless charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still not as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

First-Time DUI Offender

Wet Reckless DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.) Up to 180 days (6 mo.)
Fine Amount Up to $1,000 Up to $1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years 3-4 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None 6 months
DUI School? Maybe Yes (3 mo.)
Priorability? Yes Yes

*Does not include Penalty Assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

Second- Or Third-Time DUI Offender

Wet Reckless DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.) Up to 365 days (1 year)
Fine Amount Up to $1,000 Up to $1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years 3-4 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None 2 years for 2 nd offense 3 years for 3 rdoffense
DUI School? Yes (9 mo.) Yes (18-30 mo.)
Priorability? Yes Yes

*Does not include Penalty Assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

Aside from the two most notable differences in county jail time and the fine amounts, the differences in probation periods and mandatory license suspension periods make a wet reckless conviction worth pursuing over a DUI conviction.

For example, a common rule when you are on probation is that you are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. If you were to violate this rule, you will be said to have violated probation, and as a result may face more jail time, fines, and may even have to re-start your entire probation period all over again.

Likewise, having a prior DUI conviction on your record means that a second DUI charge within a 10-year period will result in much harsher penalties than the first time around, such as up to one year in county jail, three to four years of probation, a two-year suspension of your driver’s license, and 18 months of alcohol education classes. If you’re facing a second or third DUI offense, the benefits of pleading to a wet reckless greatly outweigh the disadvantages.

And, yes, there are disadvantages … but here’s the good news: they aren’t any worse than the disadvantages associated with a DUI conviction.

Does My Case Qualify For Reduction?

There are numerous factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing a DUI charge. The most important factor is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

As experienced Torrance DUI Lawyers, The Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein, PC., will check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample and make sure the devices used in the arrest were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free consultation meeting, we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all of your constitutional rights were respected.

The second most important factor is how close your blood alcohol content (BAC) is to the legal limit of 0.08%. Typically, prosecutors are more willing to offer a wet reckless when the defendant is between a 0.08% and a 0.1% – the higher your BAC, the less forgiving the prosecutor.

The third most important factor is whether or not you have an existing criminal record. If you have a “clean” record with no prior arrests or convictions, the prosecutor is more likely to look favorably upon your case.

How The Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein, PC., Can Help

If you’ve been charged with DUI, The Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein, PC., in Torrance, California, can help.

As a former Los Angeles deputy district attorneys, we will use our knowledge of how the prosecution views DUI cases. Our 35 years of experience as a Torrance DUI defense attorneys will help get your DUI charges reduced.

We know you’re ready to put this incident behind you and get your life back in order. We’re ready to do what needs to be done in order to make that happen.

Have you or someone you know been charged with DUI or any other crime? Contact The Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein, PC., Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers today at 424-552-3901 for a free case review.