How California Defines the “Wet Reckless” Driving Charge
You cannot be arrested for wet reckless when you are accused of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is DUI charges that are initially filed by the prosecution. A Los Angeles DUI Attorney like Jonathan Franklin can help you in your effort to successfully resolve your matter by meeting with the prosecution and pointing out the weaknesses of your case. Many times, plea bargains are a viable alternative to having your matter go to trial and ultimately decided by twelve jurors. In general, entering into a plea bargain can be beneficial when an offer is made that doesn't involve many of the harsh consequences of a drunk driving conviction. Resolution of your matter, by avoiding harsh DUI penalties of jail time and fines, can enable you to move on with your life while eliminating or reducing the negative consequences.
There are typically two goals in mind with a wet reckless plea. The prosecution avoids having to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of DUI. Your attorney’s goal is to have the DUI charge dismissed. If the charge cannot be dismissed, then a wet reckless plea can sometimes be the next best option in some cases.
What is a Plea Bargain?
The term “plea bargain” was mentioned numerous times in the above section. Let’s take a moment to explain what the term actually means. A plea bargain is an agreement a defense lawyer and prosecutor make. Each side agrees to concessions. For instance, the defense lawyer asks for a reduced sentence or lesser charge like wet reckless. The prosecutor may agree to a lesser charge, but he or she wants a conviction and to close the case.
A wet reckless driving charge is a commonly used plea bargain in DUI cases. There are other reduced charges a prosecutor can offer like:
- Exhibition of speed.
- Multiple traffic infractions.
- Dry reckless.
Should You Take a Wet Reckless Plea?
The answer to that question depends on what you and your defense lawyer decide. Keep in mind that a wet reckless charge has several advantages. It is not a typical DUI conviction, so it does not involve any mandatory sentence for repeat offenders. In California, anyone convicted of multiple DUIs within a 10-year period will receive a harsher sentence each time. Penalties for wet reckless convictions do not increase each time. However, a wet reckless conviction will be counted for enhancement purposes if you are arrested for another DUI within ten years.
Another benefit is jail time. A wet reckless conviction typically has a shorter jail sentence. For instance, the maximum amount of jail on a first-time DUI conviction is 180 days. The maximum sentence for a wet reckless conviction is 90 days. The maximum amount of jail on a second DUI is one year, while a second wet reckless conviction is 90 days. Also, the fines and probation associated with a wet reckless conviction are typically less than DUI penalties.
The Disadvantages of a Wet Reckless Plea Bargain.
Although multiple wet reckless convictions will not incur harsher penalties, a wet reckless conviction is considered a priorable offense if you’re ever convicted of DUI. In other words, in the instance that you are convicted of DUI your wet reckless charge will be used against you. So you may receive harsher penalties if the prosecution is alleging the prior conviction. Also, the DMV will treat your wet reckless the same as a DUI conviction for purposes of enhancement if you were to receive another DUI within a ten-year period.
Before making any decision regarding your DUI charge, talk to the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin. The prosecutor typically negotiates plea bargains directly with a defendant’s attorney. Consult with a skilled attorney so you know all of your options and possible defenses. That way you can make an informed decision regarding the best way to successfully resolve your matter and move on with your life. The Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin provides free consultations and extended office hours to meet with you to discuss your matter.