In California, the police cannot arrest you or charge you with wet reckless. When charged with a DUI crime in San Luis Obispo, CA, you want to seek legal help. A criminal defense attorney can help you have the charge reduced to wet reckless. The wet reckless plea bargain comes with numerous benefits.

Ensure you understand the potential benefits and risks before entering a plea bargain. At San Luis Obispo DUI Attorneys, we are here to help you reduce the DUI charge to wet reckless. We understand the harsh penalties you can face when charged with a standard DUI charge. We will let you know the benefits of entering the wet reckless plea bargain.

How Wet Reckless Plea Bargain Works in California

The wet reckless offense is convicted under California VC 23103.5. Wet reckless is not a crime with which you can be charged. The plea bargain only applies when the prosecutor agrees to reduce the DUI charge.

In many cases, wet reckless work is like a reckless driving charge. The conviction is less severe than the standard DUI charge. The probation and the jail term are also short. It is possible to keep your driving license after entering a wet reckless plea bargain.

Note, the wet reckless is a misdemeanor crime and will appear on your criminal records. It comes with downsides like probation and fines. Also, it counts as a DUI offense on your criminal record. When you commit a DUI offense in the future, the court will consider you a repeat offender.

Reasons Why you Should Seek a Wet Reckless Plea Bargain

It is mandatory that you were recklessly driving or driving while intoxicated. What is more important is to obtain the reduced drunk driving plea bargain. The prosecution team only agrees to the plea bargain option when:

  • You have no previous record of alcohol or drug-related crime.
  • The BAC level is above 0.08%.
  • The traffic officers did not have probable cause to stop you.
  • The prosecutor does not have proof of the rising concentration of alcohol.
  • The police did not conduct the chemical test as per the regulation code title 17.

The prosecutor will not be willing to move with the case if they do not have a guarantee to win. The prosecution team will likely agree to the plea bargain if the case involves procedural errors or insufficient evidence. If the case is weak, the court could acquit the defendant.

The court approves the agreement when the two parties agree on the wet reckless plea bargain. The defendant then pleads to no consent or pleads guilty. According to VC 23103.5, after the prosecutor agrees to the plea bargain, they will note if the defendant used the drug or alcohol. Next, they will send the note to the DMV and inform the board about the wet recklessness.

If the defendant has multiple previous DUI convictions, the prosecutor may deny them the plea bargain. Before you enter the plea deal, you must work with a competent criminal defense attorney.

You also want to evaluate the demerits and merits after the plea deal. In certain cases, the plea bargain will have several benefits, while in others, it will have disadvantages. So, ensure you let your attorney advise you on whether it is wise to enter the deal.

The Benefits of Entering a Wet Reckless Plea Bargain Deal

The following are the main benefits of entering a wet plea bargain in California:

No Compulsory Court Order for License Suspension or Revocation

The court will not revoke or suspend your driver’s license when you obtain the wet reckless plea bargain. For DUI offenders, the court will suspend the first-time offender’s license for six months, two years for the second-time offenders, and three years for the third-time offenders.

Again, if you are below 21 years old and refuse to submit for a chemical test, the DMV can suspend your driver's license without the obligation to apply for a restricted license. When it comes to wet reckless, the aggravating factors cannot result in license suspension. Instead, the criminal court can order you to install an IID device.

The court can still suspend your license if you fail to request a DMV hearing. So, you want to request the hearing within two weeks after your arrest. The DMV will not suspend your license until the hearing concludes.

Shorter Probation Term

When you go for the wet reckless, you will serve a probation term, usually between 12 to 24 months. A standard DUI conviction carries probation of up to five years. The following are the conditions of the probation:

  • Restitution.
  • Attending drug or alcohol treatment lessons.
  • Community service.
  • Avoiding the use of alcohol or drugs.

Shorter Sentence

When convicted of wet reckless, you remain behind bars for three months. Under the standard DUI sentence, you face up to six years of jail. So, the punishment and sentence for the wet reckless are far less than for the standard DUI.

Shorter DUI School Program Without a Mandatory License Suspension

When convicted of wet reckless, you attend DUI school for one and a half months. The period is shorter than the standard DUI charge, which runs between eighteen and thirty months. However, you want to know multiple wet reckless convictions will increase your DUI school term for up to nine months.

Less Mandatory Jail Terms for Repeat Offenders

The court will inflict a mandatory jail term when you have more than one prior offense within ten years. The period is less when compared to the standard DUI charge. Under wet reckless, you serve a five-day mandatory jail period. But for the standard DUI offense, you serve a mandatory jail term of 3 months.

No Mandatory License Suspension for Commercial Drivers

Your commercial license will be suspended if you are a commercial driver and face a DUI charge. So, you want to work with your criminal defense attorney to ensure your license is not revoked or suspended under wet reckless plea bargain.

No compulsory IID installation

The court can order you to install the IID device under a wet reckless conviction. Not installing the IID device will save you many costs. However, the court must install the device in your car if you are a repeat offender.

What are the Demerits of a Wet Reckless Plea?

Although wet reckless has numerous advantages, it also has several disadvantages. The following are the disadvantages of wet reckless conviction:

  • The DMV can suspend your license.
  • Your new employer can discover the conviction after performing a background check.
  • A vehicle insurer will consider the conviction as a DUI offense.
  • The DMV will add 2 points to your records.

Wet Reckless Consequences

In California, you have two cases against you. One of the cases is handled by the superior court, and the other by DMV. Wet reckless only resolves the court case and does not control the outcome of the DMV hearing. The following are the consequences resulting from wet reckless:

  • Jail Sentence. When convicted of wet reckless, you serve 90 days in jail compared to 12 months for a DUI conviction.
  • DUI School. If you plead guilty to wet reckless, you will complete DUI school. You will only complete a six-week class if you have no prior DUI conviction.
  • Informal Probation

You will be placed on informal probation when you plead guilty to wet reckless. Although you will not report to the probation officer, you want to be careful not to violate your probation terms. The probation terms for wet reckless include obeying all the laws and not driving while intoxicated. You can petition the court to dismiss your conviction if you complete your probation.

Can You Expunge Wet Reckless Charges?

As per penal code 1203.4, you can have your wet reckless conviction expunged. Your conviction is expunged when you fulfill the conditions. The conditions include completing your probation conditions and having no pending criminal records. After expungement, you are confident that you have never faced conviction for DUI or wet reckless. The results will not reveal a conviction even when your future employee performs a background check.

Other Plea Bargains Related to Wet Reckless

Apart from wet recklessness, the prosecution can offer the following plea bargains:

  1. Dry Reckless

You face charges for dry recklessness when you operate a vehicle that disregards other people's safety or the safety of other people's property. In California, a dry reckless charge is a misdemeanor offense. As per VC 23103, any person operating a vehicle disregarding the safety of other people or the safety of property may face dry reckless charges. Dry reckless has several advantages over DUI. When the prosecutor charges you for DUI, you want to plea bargain the charges down to dry reckless.

Arguments When Seeking a Plea Bargain to a Dry Reckless

When negotiating the reduction of DUI to dry reckless, the following are arguments you may use with the help of your attorney:

  • You may argue that the blood testing sample did not contain ample preservatives. Due to the insufficient preservative, your blood sample indicated higher amounts of BAC.
  • You may also challenge your BAC if there is a break when handling your blood sample. The break means your blood was contaminated, leading to compromised BAC results.
  • Again the testing officer wants to take your breath sample immediately after arresting you. You may challenge the BAC results in court when the testing officer takes more than three hours after your arrest.
  • You may also argue that the higher BAC results from your mouthwash. You claim that you use a mouthwash with alcohol content.

The Benefits of Dry Reckless Over DUI

The following are the advantages you obtain after conviction in the prosecution to lower your charges to a plea deal:

  • Probation. Serving Shorter A dry reckless offense attracts a shorter probation period. The probation for dry reckless lasts for one year. For a DUI, the probation may last up to five years.
  • Less Time in Jail. Dry recklessness attracts a jail time of only 90 days in county jail. The jail time in VC23103 is shorter than in a DUI Charge. For a misdemeanor DUI charge, you serve in jail for six months.
  • You Retain Your Driver's License. According to California laws, committing a DUI offense attracts a driver's license suspension. However, under VC23103, dry recklessness does not guarantee license suspension. Retaining your driver's license depends on the decision made during the DMV hearing. Therefore, you won't go through a criminal court to determine whether you will retain your license.
  • You Can Avoid DUI School. When negotiating a plea bargain to dry reckless, DUI school is not a requirement. And when the prosecutor decides you attend a DUI school, you attend the school for only six weeks.
  1. Publicly Drunk

According to PC 647(f), anyone intoxicated or under the influence of drugs cannot exercise care for their own safety. When publicly drunk, you obstruct the free use of any street, public way, or sidewalk. To face conviction for PC 647(f), the prosecutor must prove the following:

  • You were deliberately under the influence of a controlled substance or drugs.
  • You were in a public place while under the influence.
  • Inability to exercise care of your own and other people's safety.
  • You interfered with the free use of the streets and sidewalks.

Deliberate means it was willful. A controlled substance is any drug the government prohibits, like cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana. A public place refers to a sidewalk, park, shopping mall, or restaurant. Unable to exercise care means your condition was extreme, and you could not take care of yourself. The police then determined you were a risk to public safety.

Penalties for Violating pc 647(f)

Public intoxication is a misdemeanor offense punishable by:

  • Six months jail term.
  • Probation.

You can fight against drunk in public charges by arguing the following:

  • The Arrest was Unlawful

Arrests for being drunk in public should take place in a public place. Therefore if the arrest occurred in an apartment, home, or hotel room, you can't be guilty of public intoxication.

  • Insufficient Evidence

To face conviction for pc 23109, the prosecutor must prove you were willfully intoxicated to the extent you could not take care of yourself and others around you. Sometimes the police work under pressure to keep the street clear of people loitering around. You can challenge the prosecution by claiming that the police arrested you under pressure and you were not intoxicated.

  • Lack of Probable Cause

For the police to arrest you, they want to have probable cause. You may argue that the police violate your rights when they stop and apprehend you for no reason. If the arrest were illegal, all evidence presented would be invalid.

  1. Exhibition of Speed VC 23109

Exhibition of speed means you were speeding aggressively. Exhibition of speed is mainly considered a form of reckless driving. It is mostly used as a plea bargain for DUI. In California, one of the best methods to avoid a conviction is to have the prosecutor charge a lesser offense. A plea deal includes lighter sentences and no DUI record.

Elements of Exhibition of Speed

  • The defendant was driving a motor vehicle.
  • When driving, the defendant intentionally accelerated the car in an unsafe manner.
  • The defendant Deliberately Overspeed, trying to gain public attention.

Penalties for Violating VC23109

You may face charges for infractions or serious misdemeanors for violating the exhibition of speed. The decision depends on the prosecution, depending on how threatening you were to the public's safety. You face the following penalties for violating VC23109:

  • Incarceration. When you violate vc23109, you serve between one to ninety days.
  • Summary of Probation. The court may sentence when convicted if speed exhibits a probation term lasting six months or longer. While on probation, you want to meet regularly with your probation officer and maintain a clean driving record.
  • License As a driver, overspeeding results in the loss of driving privileges. After facing conviction for the exhibition of speed, you may have your license suspended for six months.

Legal Defenses

You may use the following legal defenses to fight against speed exhibition charges:

  • It Was an Accident. You may argue loss of traction and noise resulted from the road condition, such as moisture.
  • Vehicles Mechanical Defects. The increased speed may have resulted from a vehicle malfunction. Therefore the overspeeding was not intentional.
  • Mistaken Identity. When multiple motorcyclists ride together, law enforcement officers pull over one of the drivers for suspected speed exhibition. When it comes to motorcycles, police officers stop one of the motorcyclists and cite them as violators. You may use this argument when arrested.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me

California has harsh drunk driving laws. To avoid these penalties, you want to seek legal help. A DUI attorney can help you reduce the DUI charge to wet reckless. At San Luis Obispo DUI Attorneys, we are here to help you. We will educate you on the importance of entering the wet reckless plea bargain.

If you want to reduce the DUI charge to wet reckless in San Luis Obispo, CA, do not hesitate to call us at 805-321-1000. We will do everything possible to help you reduce the harsh consequences of DUI charges.