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.

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/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 2nd offense         3 years for 3rd offense

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 1-year in county jail, 3-4 years of probation, a 2-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.

Robert Ernenwein, an experienced Torrance DUI Lawyer, 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 Concentration (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 CAN HELP

If you’ve been charged with DUI, the Law Offices of Robert Ernenwein in Torrance, CA can help. As a former Los Angeles District Deputy Attorney, Robert Ernenwein will use his knowledge of how the prosecution views DUI cases and his 30+ years of experience as a Torrance DUI defense attorney to 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.

Call us today at (310) 375-5858 for a free consultation if you have been arrested for DUI in the South Bay or Torrance, CA.