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Is a "Wet Reckless" Better than a DUI?

If you or someone you love has recently been arrested and charged with DUI in Oakland or anywhere in the East Bay Area, you may have heard the term “wet reckless”. The average person may not know exactly what a “wet reckless” charge is and how it differs from a DUI char. Is it better than a DUI conviction? If so, what can your attorney do to ensure that you are not charged with DUI?

Understanding a Wet Reckless

When someone is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, their attorney may be able to plea bargain for a reduced charge, known as “wet reckless.” A wet reckless charge may be available for drivers arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Generally, most lawyers will agree that it is better to plead to a wet reckless than to a DUI offense. Why? The fines associated with a wet reckless are much less than those of DUI. The probationary period is also reduced and there is no mandatory jail time. In addition, the maximum jail time is only 90 days, unlike a DUI charge. If you are convicted of DUI, you could spend as much as 6 months to a year in jail and have a mark on your permanent record.

Other Benefits of a Wet Reckless Offense

Another significant advantage is that a wet reckless will not automatically result in the offender being required to install an ignition interlock device on his or her car. A wet reckless also does not trigger the mandatory DMV license suspension. This means that professional licenses may not be affected by a wet reckless and drivers will be allowed to retain their driving privileges.

There are still consequences to pleading to a wet reckless charge. It can count as a “prior” and your insurance company will still treat your wet reckless as a DUI charge and use this to increase your rates. In addition, not everyone is eligible to plead a “wet reckless”.

When Is a Wet Reckless Possible?

If your BAC results are close to the legal limit (.08), or the field sobriety tests are inconclusive, your attorney may be able to secure a plea bargain to have your charges reduced to a wet reckless.

Other circumstances where a wet reckless may be possible:

  • Your first DUI offense
  • Clean driving record previously
  • Minimal evidence against you
  • Conflicting testimony or issues with police report

Your attorney will need to review the details of your case to determine if the tests were performed correctly, if the officers had probable cause to stop your car, and if your rights were protected throughout the arrest. These factors could impact whether or not your lawyer could obtain a plea bargain for a wet reckless.

Contact Our Oakland DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love has been arrested for drunk driving or DUI in Oakland, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side. Call the Oakland DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to begin building a solid defense against these serious charges. There are ways to protect your driving record and stay out of jail. Call today at (510) 907-6600 or fill out our confidential contact form for more information.

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