What is the Difference Between a Wet Reckless and a DUI?
July 26, 2018

If you are charged with DUI in California, you face serious penalties, including jail time, expensive fines and the loss of your driving privileges. However, an experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to negotiate on your behalf so that the DUI charge against you is reduced to a wet reckless.

So, what is a wet reckless charge?

Wet Reckless vs. Reckless Driving

A lot of people ask us “Is wet reckless the same as reckless driving?” The answer is no.

wet reckless plea

Under California Vehicle Code Section 23103, reckless driving is defined as driving a vehicle “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” This offense is also referred to as a “dry reckless” charge.

Reckless driving is a misdemeanor under VC 23103. If you are convicted of this crime, you face up to 90 days in jail and fines of up to $1,000.

A “wet reckless” conviction is different than one for dry reckless because the crime involves drug and/or alcohol use. You can only be charged with wet reckless as part of a plea bargain for a DUI charge.

Wet Reckless vs. DUI

If you are convicted of DUI in California, you face up to six months in county jail and fines of up to $1,000. In addition, your license could be suspended by the DMV for up to six months.

A wet reckless carries a maximum of only 90 days in jail. In addition, there is no mandatory driver’s license suspension as a result of a wet reckless conviction (although the DMV could still choose to suspend your license).

Benefits of Pleading Guilty to Wet Reckless Instead of DUI

As you can see, agreeing to plead guilty to a wet reckless charge instead of trying to fight a DUI charge could benefit you. The advantages of a wet reckless include:

  • A shorter potential jail sentence (if you are sentenced to jail time at all)
  • Lower fines
  • No mandatory driver’s license suspension
  • A shorter potential probation period
  • Less DUI school required
  • No requirement to install an ignition interlock device (IID)

Pleading guilty to wet reckless charges could also keep a DUI conviction off your criminal record. However, you should be aware that a conviction for wet reckless will count as a prior DUI conviction if you are arrested for any subsequent DUI offense within 10 years of your original arrest.

Contact the DUI Defense Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today

DUI is a complicated, serious criminal offense. If you are charged with this crime, you face harsh penalties and a difficult legal battle. That is why you should seek the help of an experienced DUI defense attorney who can negotiate and fight on your behalf. Our skilled DUI attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have been successfully defending clients accused of DUI for more than 35 years. Let us help you now.

With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find an experienced Wallin & Klarich DUI defense attorney available near you no matter where you are located.

Call our office today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

Contact Us

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.