Wet Reckless vs. DUI: Penalties, Consequences, and Options

wet reckless vs dui

Are you dealing with a DUI charge and wondering how to reduce it? Maybe you’ve heard about the elusive “wet reckless” charge and are curious if it applies to your situation.

In this blog, our criminal defense attorneys explain the key differences between wet reckless and DUI charges, the penalties associated with each, and a step-by-step guide to getting your charges reduced.

What are “Wet Reckless” and DUI Charges?

Wet reckless and DUI are two sides of the same coin. Both offenses involve impaired driving, but there are key differences in how they are prosecuted.

To be charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence), the prosecution must prove that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This typically requires evidence such as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test results, field sobriety tests, or witness testimony.

On the other hand, wet reckless is a term specifically used in plea bargains or DUI and DWAI cases to lower the charges. Rather than be charged a DUI, you’ll admit to reckless driving and be required to attend alcohol education classes. Unlike DUIs, people aren’t arrested for wet reckless rather, they may plead down to a wet reckless charge when facing other impaired driving charges. This is beneficial because it can lead to lighter penalties, shorter license suspensions, and a less severe criminal record, greatly impacting future opportunities.

Penalties for Wet Reckless vs DUI Charges

In Colorado, DUIs are charged based on the level of impairment and other aggravating factors like the number of previous DUI offenses and the presence of minor children or injuries.

DUI penalties can include:

  • 1st offense: Five days to one year in jail
  • 2nd offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail up to one year
  • 3rd offense: 60 days to one year in jail

A DUI conviction will also result in license suspension or revocation. This means you may lose your privilege to drive altogether or face significant restrictions, like the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

Moreover, insurance companies view individuals with DUI convictions as high-risk drivers and often increase their rates substantially or even cancel their policies altogether.

On the other hand, “wet reckless” is a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense. While this is still considered a major traffic offense, you may be able to avoid jail time, suspension of your license, and other collateral consequences than if you were to plead guilty to a DUI.

Considering these harsh consequences of a DUI, it’s essential to seek legal counsel from a qualified attorney who can guide you through this challenging process and help protect your rights and best interests.

How to Get a DUI Dropped to Wet Reckless Driving

If you find yourself facing a DUI charge, you may be able to have your charges reduced by plea bargaining with the help of a criminal defense attorney.

Here are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of success in your case:

  1. Consult a criminal defense lawyer: Seeking guidance from a skilled criminal defense lawyer is crucial to understanding your options and building a strong defense strategy tailored to your case.
  2. Weigh the pros and cons: Consider the potential outcomes of different plea bargains, factoring in the long-term impact on your record, finances, and freedom.
  3. Review the evidence: Carefully analyze all available evidence with your lawyer to identify strengths and weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, which can influence negotiation strategies.
  4. Negotiate with the prosecutor: Engage in negotiations through your attorney to present a compelling case for a reduced charge using favorable evidence and circumstances.
  5. Enter the plea: If an agreement is reached, enter a plea of no contest or guilty to the negotiated charge, understanding the implications and commitments involved.
  6. Fulfill the requirements: Adhere to all court-mandated obligations, such as fines, probation, or educational programs, to ensure you fulfill your end of the plea bargain agreement.

Entering into a plea bargain without the help of a qualified defense attorney can spell disaster for your case. Our criminal defense lawyers at Right Law Group are here to stand by your side, ensuring your rights are protected, and your voice is heard.

With a track record of successful plea negotiations and a commitment to securing the best possible outcomes for our clients, we’re ready to craft a strategic defense strategy for your case.

Don’t let a DUI charge define your future. Contact us now to schedule a consultation.

Author Bio

alexis austin

Alexis Austin is the CEO and Managing Partner of Right Law Group, a criminal defense law firm she founded in 2018, with convenient locations in Colorado Springs, Castle Rock and Highlands Ranch. With almost a decade of experience in criminal defense, she has zealously represented clients in a wide range of legal matters, including DUIs, misdemeanors, felonies, domestic violence, and other criminal charges.

Alexis received her Juris Doctor from the University of Denver — Sturm College of Law and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association. She has received numerous accolades for her work, including being named among the “Top 40 Under 40” in 2018 by The National Trial Lawyers and featured in Authority Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” series.

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