Getting a dry reckless conviction in California suggests that you were facing a DUI charge. In this regard, you were lucky to avoid the more severe penalties that come with a DUI conviction. However, a dry reckless conviction is still a misdemeanor and a moving violation, which means that it will impact your criminal and driving record for years to come.
If you’ve been accused of DUI, it is important to get representation fast. While there are still penalties for a dry reckless conviction, they are substantially less severe than those that come with a DUI conviction. Calling us at (310) 896-2724 for a free consultation is a great way to start building the strongest defense possible.
California Vehicle Code Section 23103 spells out the specific law which governs a dry reckless charge. While the “dry” in dry reckless suggests the original arrest involved suspicion of drunk driving, this statute covers any reckless driving. A conviction under this statute is a misdemeanor and may come with the following criminal penalties:
- A fine between $145 and $1,000
- A county jail sentence for no more than 90 days
- Probation that typically lasts up to two years
These penalties are not all guaranteed though. Depending on the handling of your case and its fact pattern, you may be subject to all the penalties. However, you may instead end up paying the fine and not spending time behind bars. Unlike a DUI, a dry reckless does not come with a mandatory jail sentence.
How A Misdemeanor Is Effectively Removed from Your Criminal Record
Criminal offenses stay on your criminal record permanently. Typically, this means that these charges may show up on background checks for things like jobs or housing. Your criminal record may be used against you in these circumstances, though the Fair Chance Act does provide individuals with additional protections when looking for a new job.
However, it is possible to have a misdemeanor removed from these sorts of background checks. The process of removing a misdemeanor is known as expungement.
The expungement of misdemeanors requires filing paperwork with the courts. You must be able to show that:
- You have completed any mandated penalties, including probation
- You are in good standing with the law (i.e., currently facing no new charges)
If you can prove those factors, your lawyer may submit paperwork on your behalf with the prosecution and courts. So long as there are no successful objections to this process, you will have the charge expunged from most criminal background checks. Furthermore, any background checks that do show the misdemeanor charge will note that it has been expunged and may not be used against you for the purposes of decision-making.
In addition to the criminal aspect of a dry reckless, the offense also impacts your driving record. A conviction under Section 23103 adds two points to your driving record. As an infraction worth two points is considered severe by the DMV, your driving record can reflect the dry reckless conviction for up to 13 years.
There is no paperwork necessary to remove the points from a dry reckless conviction. Instead, the process is automatic. The DMV will remove the points from your record once the proper amount of time has elapsed since the date of your conviction.
Other Potential Issues with Points
A dry reckless conviction does not come with an automatic license suspension. However, it is possible that it can contribute to triggering the Negligent Operator Treatment System (NOTS). Under this system, you are allowed only a certain number of points in a set period. The thresholds include:
- Four points within 12 months
- Six points within an 18-month period
- Eight points within three years
If you meet one of these thresholds, you will face an automatic one-year driving suspension. It is possible to overcome this automatic process, but it requires requesting a hearing and making a successful case with the DMV.
Comparing a DUI on Your Record to a Dry Reckless
While a dry reckless will remain on your record, it is going to be looked at more favorably than a DUI conviction. Your insurance may increase from the dry reckless conviction, but it is less likely to be canceled than it would be with a DUI. Jobs and housing may likewise be more forgiving seeing a reckless driving conviction than they would be with a DUI.
If you would like to understand what your options are for your DUI case, call (310) 896-2724 to schedule your free appointment with a leading DUI lawyer. Our lawyers can help you see what defense options are available and can begin working on building you the best defense possible.