Jun 16, 2019

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Is It Possible to Get My Charge Dropped From DUI to Wet Reckless?

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Reckless Driving Lawyer

Many DUI cases can get resolved with a plea bargain, which means the defendant has agreed to plead as guilty (or “not contest”) to the criminal charge. The exchange often entails getting a lower sentence or some leniency from prosecution. For example, a person arrested for a DUI may accept a plea bargain in order to get a minimized jail sentence and less fines to pay. For others, the plea deal may entail stating guilt to have the charge dropped to a “wet reckless.”

While laws vary by state and every case of an arrest is different, there are common elements among most wet reckless plea bargains. Those who have been arrested for a DUI may want to consult with a reckless driving lawyer in Hillsville, VA in their area for more information about getting their conviction lessened to a “wet reckless” instead.

Reckless Driving Defined

In general, reckless driving is defined as driving to endanger another (person or property), and being willful in operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner. Reckless driving can include behavior like weaving through traffic, street racing, driving in excess of speed in pedestrian areas, and more. In the context of a DUI arrest, the person being under the influence may be enough to categorize as reckless driving. To take this point further, the driver may not have even been driving in a sporadic way; simply being intoxicated is viewed as dangerous enough that harm could be done to people or property. 

Chances of Being Offered Wet Reckless

Prosecutors may be open to offering a wet reckless, but only in specific cases with mitigating factors or lack of strong evidence. Mitigating factors can be things like the person has no prior criminal record, he or she had a low blood alcohol content (BAC) level, and/or it was the person’s first DUI. On the other hand, if there were aggravating factors then it can decrease the chances of being given a wet reckless plea deal. If the person driving had caused significant personal injury or property damage, it is unlikely he or she will be offered a wet reckless charge. 

Benefits of Wet Reckless

As stated briefly above, the prosecution may offer a plea deal if they are concerned that they have insufficient evidence to prove charges in court. Instead of risking losing the trial, the prosecution may give the defendant a chance to accept a plea deal. The benefits of a wet reckless charge are that carries much less harsh penalties than a DUI. Usually, a wet reckless conviction means the person will still face fines and maybe even jail time too, but it will be substantially less compared to a DUI. Also, many states permit a person charged with a wet reckless to apply for their license after being suspended for a short period of time. For those with a DUI, the license may be suspended for at least 6-12 months. A DUI typically adds more traffic violation points to the individual’s driving record too, which can result in increased insurance premiums for years to come. 

Thanks to The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into criminal defense and reckless driving.