Have you recently been pulled over and charged with a DUI? If so, you are likely feeling a sense of panic and dread over what could happen to you. In the event of a DUI charge, you could face several scenarios, such as jail time, fines, and a revoked license. Some courts may even order you to pursue rehab or safe driving courses.
The severity of your punishment will vary depending on how many offenses you have. For instance, if you are facing a first-time offense, a judge may charge you with fines in addition to sentencing you to probation, community service, and possible license suspension. Multiple DUI offenses, however, can result in a felony charge, among other punishments. Fortunately, you may be able to bargain your charge down to a "wet reckless" charge.
What Is Wet Reckless?
If you are facing your first DUI charge, you may not be familiar with the term "wet reckless." Whether or not you can plea for a lesser charge of wet reckless will also depend on which state you live in. The term is commonly used to describe a plea bargain in which you are faced with lesser penalties in comparison to a DUI charge.
When you drive recklessly under normal conditions, it may be considered "dry reckless" driving. Driving recklessly under the influence of alcohol, on the other hand, is known as wet reckless in some states, such as California and Florida, for example. To determine if you can plea for a wet reckless charge, you will need to hire a qualified DUI attorney to defend you.
What Is the Outcome of a Reduced Charge?
If you successfully manage to reduce your charge to a wet reckless rather than a DUI, you will still likely face penalties, such as fines and possibly jail time. However, the fines and time spent in jail are often less than what you would face with a DUI, even though both are misdemeanor charges. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of seeking a wet reckless charge is that it will likely enable you to keep your license and continue driving.
Is a Reduced Charge Likely?
Whether you qualify for a reduced charge of wet reckless will depend on certain factors. For instance, how many charges do you have? If you have multiple DUI charges, it is unlikely that a judge would grant you a lesser charge. If, however, it is a first-time offense, the odds are more in your favor. Also, it is important to consider other factors, such as the following:
- BAC levels at the time you were tested
- Damages or injuries caused by your reckless driving
- Your response to the officers at the time you were pulled over
- How a DUI charge will impact aspects of your life, such as your job
In many cases, if you are an otherwise upstanding citizen with no prior charges of any kind and you hold a job that could be jeopardized with a DUI, a judge may be willing to work with you. Of course, the best way to ensure a successful reduction in charges is to make sure you hire a DUI lawyer. A lawyer can review your case record and help you determine your chances of successfully achieving a wet reckless charge in place of a DUI charge.
Contact a DUI lawyer to discuss the details of your situation. Remember that it is important to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. The last thing you want is to stand before a judge without the legal expertise of a lawyer. A lawyer can help guide you through the process to ensure that you are not slammed with hefty fines, lengthy jail times, and the possible suspension of your license.