January 25

Wet Reckless California – Why it isn’t so Bad Now [2021]

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

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Wet Reckless convictions are one of those alcohol offenses you end up at after negotiations and plea bargains in a DUI. It is not a case that can be charged from the beginning. I used to advise client’s against taking a Wet Reckless plea before 2021 and push for a Not Guilty verdict on a jury trial or push for a dry reckless because it was the same as a DUI. However, recent law changes have a much better alternative. In this article, we will discuss the reckless driving charge with alcohol convictions in California. This article will go into the effects of a reckless driving offense with alcohol has on an insurance company and other potential exposures with taking this deal after 2021. Other considerations this article will go into include effects on licenses, the penalty(jail time)/fines, and advantages for making this deal with prosecutors in the court system.


Advantages of a Wet Reckless Plea


The probation Period is significantly Less.


Before 2021 a wet reckless plea deal was not so good. It was almost the same as a DUI. DUIs carry a 3 year period of probation. If you got a wet reckless then you would have to do a 3 year probation period as well. However a Wet Reckless after 2021has the advantage of a shorter probation time, The time is now only 1 year of probation.

Why Should I Plead To a Wet Reckless Charge?

There are many advantages for defendants to take a charge of a wet reckless. One of the first ones is to protect your driving record. Insurance companies will run this for determining your premiums. A DUI charge will stick on your motor vehicle report for 10 years for insurance purposes. However, a wet reckless will only stay on your motor vehicle report for 3 years. Also, instead of doing a 3, 6, or 9 month alcohol class, you will only need to do 12-hour DUI alcohol and drug education program.

Consequences of a “wet” plea bargain

What’s the difference between a wet reckless and a DUI?
The advantage of the wet reckless is the number of fines and your maximum exposure in court. A DUI fine is about 2100 dollars after penalty assessments. A wet reckless fine is about of that. In addition to the decrease in fines, the exposure in case of a probation violation is significantly less. A first time DUI carries with 6 months in jail max(potential jail sentence). The wet carries with it only 90 days in jail. In both cases, there are no mandatory jail time.

Do I Have To Get SR-22 Insurance If Convicted Of A Wet Reckless?

A Wet Reckless conviction in court also will not affect your driver’s license. If your case made it pass the DMV hearing without a suspension then the plea bargain will not require you to get an interlock device nor will you need an SR22. Depending on the deal you made with the prosecutor, you will have to do at least the 12-hour wet class. However, if your license got suspended by the DMV and the court did not suspend your license then you will need an SR22

If It Will Still Be Considered A Prior If I Am Convicted Of A DUI In The Future?

Yes. In addition to it being prior, you are also given a Watson advisement which puts you on notice that drinking and driving is dangerous. if you hit and kill anyone then you can be charged with murder.

Can you get a wet reckless expunged?

Yes. It is treated the same as a DUI. You will want to complete your classes, pay your fines, and not violate probation before you apply for the 1203.4 Forms can be found here if you want to do it yourself.

Can I get a DUI reduced to a wet reckless?

Yes. This is the only way to get a reckless. Prosecutors can not charge a wet reckelss from the beginning of a case.

The Effect On Your Insurance

How many points is a wet reckless in California?

Wet violations are 2 points on your driver license

How long does a wet reckless affect your insurance?


3 years. This is different from a DUI where it would be 10 years.

How do I get a wet reckless expunged in California?


The process is the same as a DUI. You will need the CR 180 and CR 181 forms. They are available under the Orange County Lawyers Tools and Resource page.


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