Can My DUI Be Reduced to a Lesser Charge?
Driving Under the Influence vs. Wet Reckless in California
Were you recently arrested for driving under the influence in San Jose, CA? If so, you may be wondering whether or not it is possible for your charges to be reduced to a lesser offense. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, this is something that the prosecution may be willing to consider. For example, if your blood alcohol concentration was around .08% at the time of your arrest (borderline illegal), you did not cause an accident and you do not have any prior convictions on your criminal record, you might have the opportunity to accept a "wet reckless" plea bargain.
Wet reckless refers to the California Vehicle Code § 23103.5 charge of reckless driving involving alcohol. While this offense is similar to that of driving under the influence (DUI), the penalties are slightly less severe. Both will involve probation, fines and two points on your driving record, but a wet reckless typically won't result in the suspension of your driver's license. Furthermore, the jail sentences imposed are generally much shorter. This charge is also unique in the sense that it is not an offense for which you can be arrested; it is a charge that only exists for the purposes of a plea bargain.
What is the downside to accepting a wet reckless plea bargain?
Although a plea bargain may be a viable option for some, it is important to understand that a conviction for wet reckless can be treated the same as a DUI conviction under certain circumstances. For example, a wet reckless conviction will count as a prior drunk driving offense on your criminal record. This means that you would be sentenced as a repeat offender if you were to be convicted of a second or subsequent DUI offense within ten years of your wet reckless conviction. Similarly, your insurance company may treat a wet reckless like a DUI, causing them to raise your insurance premiums or cancel your policy.
We Can Help You Explore Your Legal Options
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, you should not hesitate to discuss your options with a San Jose DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. In some cases, accepting a plea bargain may be the most effective way to resolve your case, whereas in others, your lawyer may be able to have your case dismissed completely. For this reason, you should avoid pleading guilty or accepting the consequences of a lesser charge until you have had the chance to speak with the team at The Law Offices of Adam Allen Arant. When you call our office today, we will review your case for free!
For answers to other DUI related questions, click here.