What Does a Wet Reckless Charge Mean?


What Does a Wet Reckless Charge Mean?

If you’ve ever heard of a wet reckless charge you might be wondering what on Earth it is. If you’ve never heard of a wet reckless charge, you’re in good company. Most people are very familiar with a DUI and what it means. But a wet reckless charge is rarer. So what does a wet reckless charge mean? What are the implications of getting one? And should you have your attorney fight to allow you to plead to a wet reckless instead of a DUI? Of course, any legal decision must be made in conjunction with your legal advisor. Only a DUI attorney in your state can look at the specifics of your case and advise you as to what to do. However, here’s some background information on wet reckless charges that you might find interesting.

DUI Prior

In States like California, DUI charges are priorable. Priorable means the more serious the charge, the harsher the penalties. A wet reckless charge is what’s known as a DUI prior. In other words, if you never commit another alcohol-related driving offense, you’re good. But if you commit a DUI in the next several years (usually between seven and 10), that wet reckless charge will be seen as a prior conviction. It’s almost like a ghost charge that only hurts you if you repeat the offense.

Lesser Offense

A wet reckless charge is definitely a lesser offense than a full-on DUI. Your attorney might fight for a wet reckless charge on your behalf if the circumstances of your case don’t warrant a DUI. He or she might also argue for a wet reckless charge if being convicted of a DUI would cause you undue hardship. Many times, younger drivers who had minimal alcohol in their system (but who still had illegal amounts) can ask for a wet reckless charge in lieu of a DUI. Your attorney might state that a DUI at such a young age could cause you unfair consequences, like the inability to find work.

Not a DUI

While a wet reckless charge is a DUI prior, it’s not a DUI. It’s important to understand that distinction. A wet reckless is basically the legal system’s way of reminding itself that you already have an alcohol-related traffic incident in your background so that if you repeat the incident in the future they can then use it against you. If you’re convicted of a wet reckless charge, any time you’re asked whether or not you’ve been convicted of a DUI you can legally say “no”.

Warning Charge

Consider a wet reckless a warning charge. Think of it this way. If you were caught stealing a cookie out of a cookie jar and your mom told you that you wouldn’t be grounded this time but you would be grounded if you did it again, that’s kind of the same logic as a wet reckless. It’s the legal system’s way of saying we’ll let you off with minimal consequences this time, but we’ll remember this happened if you do something similar in the future.

Obtaining a wet reckless charge instead of a DUI can go a long way toward helping you in the future. As soon as you have to reveal that you’ve been convicted of a DUI, life gets harder. Getting loans, jobs, apartments, cars, and a number of other things can be really difficult with a DUI on your record. Ask your attorney if a wet reckless charge is worth pursuing in your case. Always go into the legal system with a qualified attorney by your side. Consult with an experienced DUI lawyer in your state today and take the first step towards protecting your freedom and your future.


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