Pros And Cons Of Downgrading A DUI To A Wet Reckless
Most jurisdictions will charge you with a wet reckless if it determines that you were intoxicated but your blood alcohol limit (BAL) only approached but did not reach the 0.08 legal limit at the time of your arrest. The charge is inferior to that of a proper driving under the influence (DUI) charge. Therefore, some DUI suspects accept wet reckless charges in their plea bargains. Here are benefits of downgrading a DUI to a wet reckless:
The premier benefit of any reduced charge is a mild penalty, and this is also true in the case of a wet reckless. You may still face the same penalties as a regular DUI, but they will not be as harsh. For example, your jail time, probation, and DUI school may all be shorter compared to those for typical DUIs, and your monetary fine may also be relatively low.
No Mandatory License Suspension
A DUI conviction usually results in automatic suspension of driving license. Depending on your jurisdiction, this may not be the case with a wet reckless conviction. If that's the case, you will continue enjoying the use of your car, which is one of the things people fear losing the most when they are accused of DUI.
However, it won't be all smiles if you manage to downgrade your DUI to a wet reckless. Here are some of the disadvantages of the charge:
It May Count as a Prior
A wet reckless may not go on your record as a DUI, but it will be treated as such if you are arrested for a subsequent DUI. That means if you are convicted for a wet reckless and you are later arrested for a DUI, you will be charged and penalized as any other person with a second DUI offense. In short, the benefits of your wet reckless charge aren't usually carried forward to future offenses.
Your Insurer May Treat It as a DUI
Another problem with a DUI is that even though the prosecutor or judge may recognize it, your auto insurance company may not be as kind. Most auto insurance carriers treat wet reckless convictions just like other DUIs, meaning your premiums may increase and you may also have a problem buying coverage.
Not all states will allow you to plea bargain your DUI to a wet reckless. However, if it is an option in your jurisdiction, it's a better option than getting convicted of a DUI. Talk to your criminal law attorney about this and any other ways of mitigating your DUI charge.