“Dry reckless” is another name for the charge of reckless driving. It’s a completely separate offense from DUI, and it carries much lower penalties. In some cases, your lawyer may be able to get you a deal where you accept a dry reckless charge instead of a DUI charge.
What is the difference between wet reckless and dry reckless? Is dry reckless better?
These are both terms for different types of reckless driving offenses. “Wet” reckless involves alcohol or drugs and “dry” reckless does not. A DUI can be reduced to either one, although dry reckless has more benefits for you as the defendant. It is the better of the two.
Reckless driving is defined by California Vehicle Code 23103 as driving with a “willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Any behavior that shows this disregard can count, including excessive speeding, driving after drinking, etc. Reckless driving is still a misdemeanor crime, and still carries penalties, but the penalties are much less severe than DUI penalties.
To accept a dry reckless plea bargain, you will have to plead guilty to this offense.
What makes a dry reckless charge better than a DUI?
A dry reckless charge has less consequences, and it will not disrupt your life in the same way a DUI would. For example:
- Your drivers license will not be suspended for dry reckless
- You may not have to serve jail time
- The probation period is much shorter
- You may not have to attend any DUI “traffic school”
- Dry reckless costs far less in fines and fees
Additionally, unlike a wet reckless, a dry reckless does not count as a “prior DUI” if you are ever arrested for drunk driving again.
What are the penalties for dry reckless in Los Angeles?
The basic penalties for dry reckless include:
- A minimum fine of $145
- 2 points on your driving record
There is no mandatory license suspension and no mandatory jail time. Most importantly, since a dry reckless has no formal association with alcohol, drugs or DUI, it does not follow you around the same way that a wet reckless or DUI conviction will. Dry reckless charges will sometimes be overlooked by employers, car insurance companies, professional associations, and college/university admissions staff.
How do I get a dry reckless offer?
Dry reckless charges are almost exclusively given to first time DUI defendants. If this is your first DUI charge, you may be able to get a dry reckless deal if:
- Your BAC (blood alcohol content) was under .08%
- You have a DUI defense lawyer representing you
The low BAC is the ideal circumstance for dry reckless because the prosecution cannot prove you were drunk or that your drinking affected your driving. This is why they are more likely to offer a “dry” than a “wet” reckless.
All plea bargains require negotiation. If you don’t have a lawyer, prosecutors have no incentive to offer you a dry reckless deal, because they know they will probably convict you in court. Your lawyer can make a crucial difference.
Have you been charged with DUI? We can connect you with an experienced Los Angeles DUI lawyer and get you a FREE consultation. Fill out the form to the right or call (310) 862-0199 and get your free consultation today.