A DUI charge in Florida can result in serious penalties, including jail time, license suspension, and fines. Furthermore, having a DUI conviction on your criminal record can limit your employment and educational opportunities.
Fortunately, a motorist who’s accused of drunk driving may have an opportunity to plea bargain for a “wet reckless” charge. Wet reckless means a plea deal that turns a DUI is lowered into a reckless driving offense. Keep in mind, plea bargaining for a lesser charge is not allowed for DUI cases involving a driver’s BAC of .15 percent or more, or cases involving property damage, injuries, or a death.
The obvious benefit of pleading to a wet reckless is the fact that reckless driving penalties are less serious than those for DUI. For example, a first-time DUI can result in a maximum jail sentence of six months, fines of up to $2,000, and license suspension for up to one year, while a first-time wet reckless is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 90 days, a fine of up to $100, and four demerit points on your driving record (12 demerit points result in driver’s license suspension for one year).
The prosecution will typically review the DUI file to determine whether to reduce the charge to reckless driving or not. The prosecutor may offer a plea deal when the evidence is weak or does not support a DUI conviction, which can lead to a “not guilty” verdict. So rather than losing in court, they will orchestrate a plea bargain with the defendant’s attorney.
The following are the common factors that can result in a wet reckless plea deal:
- This is your first DUI arrest
- Your BAC was at or near the BAC legal limit of .08 percent
- Concerns about the breath test reading (i.e. issues with administration of the test and issues with calibration of the testing device)
- Concerns about the legality of the stop, arrest or detention
- You have no prior arrests or convictions for drunk driving
- You did not cause a crash resulting in property damage, bodily harm, or a fatality
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Florida, our Clearwater criminal defense attorney at Timmy, Meyer & Piccarreto, P.A. can thoroughly evaluate your case, determine all of your legal options, and build an effective case to help you get the best results possible. Although we strive to get your entire case dismissed altogether, the next best option is to get your charges reduced to wet reckless to avoid the harsh penalties associated with DUI.
Contact us and free consultation for more information about our experienced legal services today.