California Wet Reckless: a Plea Bargain

If you are facing driving under the influence (DUI) charges in Orange County, California, you may have heard from friends and family about a California “wet reckless,” which is not a charge in itself. People don’t face wet reckless charges. Instead, they plea bargain their DUI charges down to wet reckless.

When a DUI defendant bargains their DUI charge down to a wet reckless, what is actually happening is they are being convicted of “dry reckless” under Vehicle Code 23103 VC.

Under Sec. 23103.5, when the prosecution agrees to let the DUI defendant plea nolo contendere or guilty to Sec. 23103 in place of Section 23152 (DUI), the resulting conviction shall count as a priorable offense for the sake of any future DUI convictions.

Why is a wet reckless better than a DUI conviction?

If there is substantial evidence against a DUI defendant and a plea bargain to a wet reckless is on the table, it’s often favorable to accept such an offer. Why? Because, a wet reckless has less penalties than a standard DUI, even less penalties than a simple misdemeanor DUI without aggravating factors.

Less penalties? How so? For instance, when a DUI defendant accepts a wet reckless plea bargain, they may not face a driver’s license suspension – a huge bonus. Additionally, a wet reckless typically involves less jail time, lower fines, and a shorter probation than a standard DUI.

But like a DUI, we must not forget that a wet reckless plea bargain is a priorable offense. Meaning, if a DUI defendant pleas down to a wet reckless and they are arrested for DUI in the future, the wet reckless will still count against them as a prior alcohol-related offense.

In other words, the defendant would face the same enhanced penalties as any other repeat DUI offender. There’s just no way of getting around that unfortunately.

Facing DUI charges in Orange County? To discuss all of your defense options, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc.!

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