What Is a California Wet Reckless Charge?

A wet reckless charge is a reckless driving charge that involved alcohol or drugs. When a driver is pulled over for drunk or drugged driving and fails or refuses to take a preliminary alcohol screening (PAS) test, he or she cannot be charged with wet reckless. The driver would be charged with a DUI.

The consequences of a DUI typically depend on the driver’s age, blood alcohol concentration (BAC), prior offenses and whether the driver’s behavior caused injury. However, even a first-time offense in California could result in a one-year license suspension, hefty fines, jail time, completion of a drug and alcohol education program, community service and the installation of an ignition interlock device. In addition, a DUI can affect a person’s current employment and education as well as their future endeavors. 

When Does Wet Reckless Occur?

Wet reckless is a reduced DUI charge that must be offered from prosecutors as part of a plea deal. This means that in exchange for pleading guilty or no contest, the defendant would be charged for reckless driving rather than for a DUI. The prosecution may offer wet reckless when they do not have enough evidence to convict the defendant for a DUI. For example, if a defendant’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was close to the legal limit, the prosecution may offer the defendant wet reckless as a reduced charge. 

Potential Consequences of a Wet Reckless Charge

  • Fine of up to $1,000
  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Completion of an alcohol and drug education program

Similar to a DUI offense, a wet reckless offense will add two points to the defendant’s license. It will count as a prior DUI conviction if the driver is charged with a subsequent DUI within a 10-year period. However, if the driver has had prior DUI offenses, a wet reckless charge will not be treated as another DUI offense. In addition, beginning January 1, 2019, a court could order the installation of an ignition interlock device for at least three months.

Unlike a DUI offense, reckless driving does not result in license suspension from the court. However, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) could still order license suspension. 

How a Fresno DUI Defense Attorney Could Help You

If you have been charged with a DUI in Fresno or the surrounding areas, we recommend that you contact a DUI defense attorney experienced in California law as soon as possible. You only have 10 days to ask for an administrative hearing with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to appeal your license suspension.

In addition to a DMV hearing, there will be a court hearing. It could be beneficial to have a DUI defense attorney on your side for your DMV hearing and for your court hearing. An attorney could examine the evidence being used against you and build a strong defense to help get your charges reduced or dismissed.

If you have questions or concerns about your DUI charge, the DUI defense attorneys at Hammerschmidt Law Corporation could help. We could help you understand your legal options under the circumstances of your situation and guide you through the legal process. Call us today at (559) 258-2298 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.