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Wet and Reckless


This is the guy to call if you have found yourself in a less than ideal situation. Everyone is super nice and Richard is more than willing to take the time to answer the onslaught of questions and worries you might have regarding everything. I highly recommend that if you are in a bind to call Richard Wagner! T.T., San Juan Capistrano Read what others have to say

You can rely on DUI Attorney Richard Wagner's decades of experience to fight your DUI with Injury charges. Read Richard Wagner's profile

The prosecution may consider settling some DUI cases by allowing a defendant to plead guilty or no contest to a reduced charge.

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This decision may have various causes. The prosecutor may have flaws in their evidence. The defendant's BAC could be low. Court congestion could be a factor. 

There are 58 counties in California. There are hundreds of criminal courts in the 58 counties.

Prosecutors throughout California Courts vary in the way they deal with DUI cases. District Attorneys, City Prosecutors, and City Attorneys have their own unique policies for how they handle DUI cases. This cannot be understated.

For example, there is a huge difference between how Los Angeles prosecutors and Orange County prosecutors handle DUI cases. There is also a big disparity in the Inland Empire. The Riverside County District Attorney deals with DUI cases very differently compared to the San Bernardino County District Attorney.

A prosecutor typically seeks a "wet reckless" charge in exchange for dismissing DUI charges.

It is helpful to get an understanding of what wet reckless means and the potential consequences of the charge.

What is a “Wet Reckless”?

Wet reckless is an unusual charge in that a prosecutor cannot initially charge a defendant with “wet reckless.” Instead, a DUI charge can be reduced to wet reckless as part of a plea agreement. Read Understand Plea Agreements

Under California Vehicle Code Section 23103, reckless driving is a misdemeanor involving unsafe driving.

California Vehicle Code Section 23103.5is the sentencing provision for reckless driving where alcohol and/or drugs are involved.

Differences Between Wet Reckless and DUI

There are a number of differences between DUI convictions and convictions for a wet reckless.

1.  Driver's License Suspension

Frequently asked questions about wet reckless cases involve driver's licenses:

  • Does a wet reckless suspend your license?
  • How to get license back after a wet and reckless

Unlike a DUI conviction, a wet reckless conviction will not lead to a mandatory DMV driver's license suspension. A DUI conviction, on the other hand, will result in a DMV suspension. Defendants who convicted of a DUI in court must convert this suspension into a restricted license or wait out the suspension period.

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It is important to keep the DMV in mind when considering your options in court. The DMV is looking to suspend your license. The DMV can suspend as a result of the Administrative Per Se Hearing, and also if you get convicted of a DUI in court.

For first-time DUI offenders, Administrative Per Se Hearing suspension period is four months.

For multiple offenders, the Administrative Per Se Hearing suspension is one year.

However, drivers can convert these suspensions into restricted licenses. Attorney Richard Wagner patiently guides you through this process.

2.  Immigration Consequences

A DUI conviction can have severe repercussions for non-U.S. citizens. These consequences could include loss of DACA status, deportation, exclusion from admission to the U.S., or denial of naturalization.

However, unlike a DUI, a wet reckless is not considered a "significant misdemeanor" by immigration authorities.

One frequently asked question is:

  • Can You Go To Canada with a Wet Reckless?

A wet reckless conviction, however, may prevent you from traveling to some foreign countries.

3.  Fines

Fines associated with a wet reckless are more flexible and usually less than for a DUI conviction. The minimum fine is $145. The maximum is $1,000. Remember that penalty assessments are added to all fines, which significantly increase the amount you have to pay. 

4.  Jail Time

The sentencing law states that jail time can range from 5 to 90 days in the county jail. Whereas a first-time DUI offender has six months in jail hanging over their head while they are on probation. Jail time is extremely rare for a first-time wet reckless conviction. 

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5.  Probation

Probation for a wet reckless can be 12 months. In comparison, DUI probation must be a minimum of 3 years and could be as long as 5 years.

6. DUI School

If this is your first offense, a wet reckless conviction requires you to complete the educational component of the first offender drinking and driving program. This is sometimes called the SB1176 program. This is a 12 hour alcohol and drug education program. In contrast to first-time DUI offenders, DUI school is 3, 6, or 9 months.

Does a Wet and Reckless Count as a DUI?

Wet reckless charges count as a prior DUI if you get another DUI. If you get a DUI after your wet reckless conviction, the prosecutor and the DMV will use your prior wet reckless conviction as a prior DUI to increase your punishment in your new DUI case.

Can a Wet Reckless Be Expunged in California?

Whether you get convicted of a DUI or a wet & reckless, you can get your case dismissed (often called expunged) when you have successfully completed probation. Read about expungements and PC 1203.4 petitions for dismissals

Is Wet Reckless Better Than DUI?

Only you can decide what is best for you and your family. Richard Wagner is a former DUI prosecutor. He knows  DUI law and understands the consequences of being charged with DUI. He has built a solid reputation as a defense lawyer who works hard to help his clients. 

If you or a loved one have been arrested for DUI and want more information about wet reckless and other reduced DUI charges, it is critical that you meet with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible.

For more information or to schedule your free consultation, contact Richard Wagner at (714) 721-4423.