Wet Reckless

What is a Wet Reckless charge?

A Wet Reckless charge is a charge that is used in a plea negotiation in DUI cases in California. In certain cases, a person facing DUI charges under CVC 23152 can have their charges reduced to a Wet Reckless charge under California Vehicle Code (CVC) 23103 per CVC 23103.5.

How does someone get a Wet Reckless?

wetrecklessdriverWet Reckless charges are always part of a plea deal with prosecutors in DUI cases. They cannot be charged independently… meaning someone cannot be arrested for Wet Reckless driving by police. A Wet Reckless is always the result of a plea negotiation between the prosecution and the defense in a DUI case.

A Wet Reckless charge is usually the result of a defense lawyer uncovering mistakes or weaknesses in a prosecution case against a driver. Prosecutors would often rather have a conviction for ‘something’ rather than risk letting a person get away with everything if they lose at trial. Weaknesses in a prosecution case that would lead to a Wet Reckless plea reduction include:
-Errors with the breath testing machine or blood testing equipment used in a case
-Problems with police investigation techniques, including issues with probable cause or the lack of it

What does a Wet Reckless conviction really do for someone facing DUI charges?

Wet Reckless convictions carry consequences that are less harsh than a DUI conviction.  Some of the advantages for a Wet Reckless conviction over a DUI conviction are:

-No court issued driver’s license restrictions for a Wet Reckless, versus 6 month court restrictions on driver’s license

-Shorter probation period for most Wet Reckless cases

-Shorter Alcohol Class lengths for Wet Reckless cases compared to DUI cases. (This isn’t always true, as some prosecutors and some judges demand the same amount of alcohol education to DUI defendants and Wet Reckless defendants.)

-Shorter jail time for Wet Reckless conviction (maximum of 90 days versus 6 months for DUI.)

Wet Reckless Resource Links:

California Highway Patrol Impaired Driving

Posted in DUI Penalties.

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