After you’ve been arrest for a DUI, it is possible to have your charges downgraded. One of the best downgrades you can receive for a DUI charge is a dry reckless driving charge. It carries substantially lower penalties than a DUI conviction and will be less of a burden on you in the years to come.
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, you should know that getting a downgraded charge is possible but harder without the right lawyer by your side. If you’d like to have a skilled DUI lawyer evaluate the facts of your case to see what can be done for you, call us today at (310) 862-0199 to schedule your free initial consultation.
Dry Reckless Driving Charges
A “dry” reckless driving conviction in the context of a DUI charge is the same as a reckless driving charge in other driving offenses that don’t involve alcohol. A dry reckless is charged under California Vehicle Code Section 23103. If you’re convicted under this section of the California Vehicle Code, you could face:
- Two points added onto your license
- A monetary penalty of at least $145 but no more than $1,000
- Between five and 90 days in county jail
Not all these penalties are mandatory. You may be assessed with the monetary penalty, the jail sentence, or both. That means that there is no mandatory jail sentence with a dry reckless conviction.
Dry Reckless vs. DUI
Dry reckless penalties aren’t pleasant, but they are much less harsh than a DUI conviction. At its least punishing level, a first-time DUI with no aggravating factors can result in a person receiving:
- Up to six months in county jail
- Several thousands of dollars in fines and court assessment fees
- Three months of DUI school, which must be paid by the convicted
- Six months-long license suspension
- Three to five years of probation
- The possibility of installing an ignition interlock device in any regularly driven vehicle, with installation and upkeep costs paid for by the convicted
The jail sentence for mandatory for a DUI. In a plea deal, you may be able to negotiate to replace the jail time with time on probation. Getting that deal can be difficult, depending on the prosecutor’s outlook on your case and the strength of your defense.
Aggravating factors such as excessive blood alcohol content (BAC), excessive speeding, and injuries to other people can make these penalties substantially harsher. Likewise, repeat DUI offenses come with increasing penalties, as it is considered a “priorable” offense
Dry Reckless vs. Wet Reckless
“Wet” reckless driving is another possible plea option for individuals in a DUI case. It occupies a middle ground between a DUI and a dry reckless conviction. If you plead to a wet reckless charge, you could face:
- 12 hours of mandatory DUI school
- No more than three months in county jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Two years of probation
Like a dry reckless conviction, a wet reckless does not come with a mandatory jail sentence. If you are given a jail sentence, it has an upper limit that is three months less than the upper limit of a DUI.
However, unlike a dry reckless conviction, a wet reckless conviction will count against you if you are accused of later DUIs. Similarly, your insurance company may opt to treat the wet reckless conviction as a DUI for the purpose of determining your rate when your car insurance is up for renewal.
Getting a Dry Reckless Plea Deal
You are more likely to receive a dry reckless detail if you have no prior DUI offenses on your record. Additionally, it may be easier to receive it as a plea offer if:
- You had a BAC that was close to the legal limit of 0.08%
- You have an experienced DUI lawyer negotiating on your behalf
A prosecutor who feels certain to be able to get a DUI conviction at trial has no incentive to offer you a plea deal, especially one as relatively forgiving as a dry reckless. Having a lawyer who can point to your BAC being near the legal limit and provide convincing, alternative explanations for the reading (rising BAC over time, medical conditions, dietary choices) can greatly improve your chances of receiving a dry reckless plea deal.
When you’re ready to have a knowledgeable DUI lawyer evaluate the facts of your case, call one of our representatives at (310) 862-0199 to set up your free consultation.