If you have been charged with a DUI in California, a conviction can lead to serious criminal charges. Although the main goal is to obtain a not guilty verdict or get your entire case dismissed, it may be challenging to get these results.

Fortunately, your criminal defense attorney may reach a plea agreement with the prosecution to reduce your DUI to a “wet reckless” charge—in exchange for pleading guilty or no contest. A wet reckless is not a charge someone could be arrested for, nor is it a separate criminal offense, rather it is charge reduction specifically for first-time DUI cases.

The main difference between a wet reckless charge and “dry” reckless is that the former specifically involves alcohol or drugs, while the latter does not. Dry reckless is another name for a reckless driving conviction.

The following are the main benefits of being charged wet reckless compared to DUI in California:

  • Less jail time – A first DUI conviction in the state can lead to a jail sentence of up to six months. By contrast, a wet reckless is punishable by a maximum 90-day jail term.
  • Reduced fines – A first DUI conviction may result in a fine no more than $1,000. While a wet reckless can also result in a maximum $1,000 fine, there are no court-imposed fees that are added, which make fines from a DUI more expensive.
  • No driver’s license suspension – A wet reckless conviction does not lead to driver’s license suspension ordered by the court. However, the state DMV can still suspend your license for failing or refusing a chemical test after arrest. A first DUI conviction is punishable by a suspension period that lasts up to six months.

One of the main disadvantages of a wet reckless conviction is that if you are later charged with another DUI offense, the wet reckless will count as a prior DUI conviction, meaning you will face increased penalties as a repeat offender. Additionally, auto insurance companies will treat a wet reckless like a DUI, which means increased policy rates.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Bakersfield, contact Koenig Law Office today at (661) 793-7222 and request a free consultation to discuss your potential legal defenses.