7 Things You Didn’t Know About A “Wet Reckless”


Attorney Aizman is a Former DUI prosecutor that trained police officers on how to testify in DUI hearing & trials.

You Can’t Be Charged With A “Wet Reckless””

reckless driver speeding

A “wet reckless” is another name for the charge of reckless driving involving alcohol.  A wet reckless is not something you can get arrested for.  If you are arrested for a DUI and have a good defense or the prosecution believes there is some weakness to the DUI charge, the prosecution may offer a plea bargain for a wet reckless.12

› A wet reckless plea is not a guarantee and it is most commonly offered after your first offense.  The likelihood of a prosecutor offering a wet reckless plea to a second time DUI offender is extremely slim.

However, if you are a repeat offender and can get the prosecution to offer a wet reckless, you are the kind of person that would benefit most from this plea.  When convicted with a wet reckless, there are no mandatory sentencing enhancements if you are a repeat offender.  Therefore, if you are a repeat offender and can get the charge reduced to a wet reckless, you may escape mandatory jail time, larger fines, and longer court imposed license suspension.

Related: 3 Stages of a Misdemeanor DUI

Penalties

Compared to a DUI conviction, the penalties that go along with a wet reckless are much lighter.

  • The maximum fine for a wet reckless is much lower than when convicted with a DUI.
  • Additionally, there is no mandatory jail sentence.
  • Your time on probation will be less than a DUI.

However, you will still have to complete a court ordered driving under the influence program but there is no court-imposed suspension on your license.

It is important to remember that a wet reckless is still considered a prior offense on your record if you are arrested for a DUI in the future.  If you are arrested and convicted of another DUI within 10 years of the wet reckless, you will be treated as a repeat offender and the penalties will be applied according to the standards for a second offense DUI.

Other Potential Plea Options

negotiate with prosecutor

There are other pleas that the prosecution can offer such as a:

A wet reckless is the most common type of plea that you will be offered.

Understanding the art of negotiating with prosecutors and reaching a favorable plea bargain requires experience within the California criminal law system. Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a California DUI attorney who is well-versed in these matters as soon as feasible. Your attorney will be able to analyze the particulars of your case, offer guidance on likely outcomes, and advocate for your interests with the State.

Wet Reckless FAQs

1) If The Court Doesn’t Suspend My License, Can The DMV Still Suspend It?

Yes. A wet reckless is still reported to the DMV and the DMV will treat it the same way they would a DUI.  The DMV is a separate administrative hearing and if you have a BAC of above 0.08% or lose your DMV hearing, they may still suspend your license for up to four months.

2) Do I Have To Get SR-22 Insurance If Convicted Of A Wet Reckless?

It is not the conviction of wet reckless that triggers the need for SR-22 insurance but rather a loss at a DMV Administrative Per Se hearing.  The DMV will require SR-22 in order to have your driving privilege reinstated.

3) When Is It Most Likely That A Prosecutor Will Offer A Plea Of A Wet Reckless?

The likelihood of you receiving an offer of a wet reckless depends on the individual circumstances of your case.  Some common examples of when a prosecutor offers the plea include (1) when your BAC is right at 0.08%, and (2) they would rather see a conviction than risk losing at trial.  If you have been convicted previously of a DUI the chances are smaller that the prosecution will offer this plea unless your defense is really strong.

4) Why Should I Plead To a Wet Reckless Charge If It Still Will Be Considered A Prior If I Am Convicted Of A DUI In The Future?

The wet reckless charge, which is an inducement to get drivers arrested for a DUI to plea out, has many advantages. A wet reckless looks much better on your record than a DUI and may help if you are trying to get employment or have employment where a DUI may disqualify you from certain certifications or clearances.  A Wet Reckless also has a shorter probabtion periord than a DUI which is typically 3-5 years of probation.  Converesely a Wet Reckless typically has a 1-2 year probation period and you will qualify more quickly for a misdemeanor expungement under penal code 1203.4  Additionally no license suspension is triggered with a Wet Reckless plea.  A first time, second time DUI, and third time all trigger automatic license suspensions as well as chemical test refusals and driving under the influence under 21 years of age.

Aizman Law Firm Difference -What We Do To Fight Your Case

Resolute Defense In Your DMV Hearing: Including

  • Review of the police report for any shortcomings in the investigation.
  • Subpoenaing the records of maintenance and accuracy logs on the specific PAS and/or ECIR machine used to conduct your exam.
  • Strategizing any viable defenses to preserve your license, etc.

Zealous Defense In Your Criminal Proceedings: Including

  • Extensive review of the police report for possible defenses.
  • Subpoeaning the video footage (“dash cameras”) of the traffic stop, if any taken.
  • Have any blood drawn retested by an independent facility.
  • File any important Pretrial motions (i.e., Motion to Suppress the evidence against you, Pitchess Motion for officer misconduct at arrest, etc.)
  • Plea Negotiations with prosecutors to garner a charge reduction.
  • Dismissal of the case, if applicable for insufficient evidence.

Dynamic Defense In Your Trial Proceeding: Including

  • File pre-trial motions to seek to exlude any non-relevant evidence that prosecutors may try to use in trial.
  • Utilize reasearch on demographic set for jury selection
  • Cross examine all witnesses including law enforement & governement expert
  • Present expert testimony in your favor

At the Aizman Law Firm, our experienced DUI attorneys can help you with questions you might have about the entire DUI process and penalties for an offender.  If you need to speak to a DUI attorney about your DUI case, please call our office at: (818) 351-9555 for a free consultation.

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Footnotes

  1. California Vehicle Code Section 23103 – (a) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Vehcile Code 23103(b) A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. Vehcile Code 23103 © except as otherwise provided in Section 40008, persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104 or 23105. []
  2. Vehicle Code 23103.5 – If the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 23152, the prosecution shall state for the record a factual basis for the satisfaction or substitution, including whether or not there had been consumption of an alcoholic beverage or ingestion or administration of a drug, or both, by the defendant in connection with the offense. The statement shall set forth the facts that show whether or not there was a consumption of an alcoholic beverage or the ingestion or administration of a drug by the defendant in connection with the offense. []