Rather than facing a DUI, some people can argue for a lesser charge. A “wet” reckless conviction may be granted by prosecutors in some cases. It comes with less severe penalties than a DUI conviction but has many of the same ramifications. Your insurance is one area in which a DUI and a wet reckless conviction will have the same impact.
While a wet reckless conviction is often a preferable option over a DUI, beating the charges will be better altogether. Fighting any DUI charge that comes your way is the best way to avoid an insurance rate hike. If you’re ready to see what a DUI lawyer can do for your case, call for your free consultation today at (310) 862-0199.
Impact of a Wet Reckless on Insurance
When you agree to plead to a wet reckless charge, the conviction ends up on your driving record for 10 years from when you were arrested. This 10-year period is the same period that affects you if you are arrested for another DUI, as the wet reckless charge counts as a DUI for the purposes of enhancing your sentence. The conviction also adds two points on to your license, which is the same amount you would receive for a DUI conviction.
As for your insurance, your current policy rate is not allowed to increase from the rate you initially agreed to for its term. However, when you go to renew your insurance policy or if you shop around for a new one, the wet reckless charge will be a factor on the rates you are offered for three years. While other factors will impact the rate you’re given, you may see an increase of up to 30% the conviction.
Once the three-year window closes, your rates will be reduced. However, they may not return to the level you received before the conviction. If you received a good driver discount, you will be ineligible for that discount for as long as your conviction remains on your driving record. While expungement exists for the criminal aspect of the charge, there is no reducing how long the wet reckless impacts the availability of the good driver discount.
Disclosing the Wet Reckless Conviction
The rate hike you receive from your insurance company comes when they discover the wet reckless conviction on your driving record. You aren’t required to disclose the wet reckless conviction, but your insurance company can find it when they check your driving record. This typically happens when it comes time to renew your policy or if you wish to move to a new insurance company.
You only must disclose your conviction if you have your license suspended. A wet reckless charge doesn’t come with a mandatory license suspension. However, your insurer can raise rates for three years whenever they discover the conviction, so long as it is on your driving record. What this means is that your insurance rate may increase for a three-year period at any point during the 10-year window following your arrest.
License Suspensions with a Wet Reckless Charge
Though you don’t get a license suspension from a wet reckless charge, you can still have your license suspended. When you get arrested for the DUI charge, it triggers an automatic process with the DMV. If left uncontested, the DMV will suspend your license 30 days after your arrest. This suspension may last for four months even if you are acquitted of the charges and will require you to complete an SR-22 form with your insurance in order to reinstate your license.
You can fight the automatic suspension, but you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to do so. You may request a hearing with a DMV official, who will determine if the suspension should be allowed to go forward. You are allowed to be represented by your DUI lawyer, which can greatly increase your chances of avoiding the suspension.
Fighting the Charges Is the Best Chance of Avoiding an Insurance Rate Hike
While a wet reckless conviction will have less of an impact on your life than a DUI, it does still mean you are very likely to face an insurance rate increase. Either you inform your insurance of the conviction when you need to complete an SR-22 form, or they find it when they check your driving record. In both scenarios, you are facing three years of increased rates and 10 years without a good driver discount.
Beating the administrative suspension and the charge are your only chances of avoiding an insurance rate increase. Our lawyers can help you with both the DMV and the prosecution, increasing the chances that your insurance rates remain the same. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, call (310) 862-0199 to schedule your free consultation with a skilled DUI lawyer. With only 10 days to start fighting, call us today!