In many ways, a wet reckless conviction is preferable to a DUI conviction. It comes with much less severe legal ramifications than a DUI. However, it does not always mean you won’t be impacted by the conviction. In particular, your employment may be affected the same way for either charge.
If you have been charged with a DUI and want to learn more about your legal option, including what a wet reckless plea deal might mean for you, call us today at (310) 862-0199. Our representatives can help you connect with a highly skilled DUI lawyer who will evaluate the facts of your case for free.
The Difference Between a Wet Reckless Charge and a DUI
If you are stopped by the police, you may be arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI). You will not be arrested for a wet reckless driving charge. That charge exists only as a plea option for individuals who have been arrest for a DUI.
With a wet reckless charge, you face:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Jail for up to six months OR
- Probation for one to two years
In contrast, a first time DUI conviction comes with:
- Fines of up to $1,000, plus additional court assessment fees
- Jail for up to six months
- A license suspension of six months
- Mandatory DUI classes (paid for by you) for three months
- Probation for three to five years
The difference between the two ends up being the severity of the penalties. However, both show up on your criminal record, both initiate an automatic administrative suspension with the DMV, both will count against you for future DUIs, and both can result impact your ability to keep or get a job.
A wet reckless conviction on your record impacts your employment prospects in one of two ways:
- It may cause your employer to terminate you.
- It may cause a new employer to rescind a job offer.
In either case, you may be better off disclosing the conviction prior to its discovery through other means. Explaining what happened and what steps you’re taking to ensure it doesn’t happen again may be your best shot at keeping or getting the job.
Your Current Employer
As part of a routine background check, your current employer may discover a wet reckless conviction on your criminal record. If your employer chooses to, he or she may terminate your employment upon discovering the conviction. Even if the arrest happened while you were off, your employer isn’t illegally discriminating against you for firing you.
A New Employer
Under California’s Fair Chance Act, employers can no longer ask you about your criminal record during the application process. Instead, employers may inquire about criminal convictions only upon issuing you a conditional offer for employment. They can do so either by asking you directly or by running a criminal background check, though they require your permission for the latter. Any crimes that have been expunged from your record cannot be used against you in the hiring process.
Under this new law, the employer can rescind the job offer if they discover the wet reckless conviction. They must give you an explanation in writing for their decision and give you an opportunity to respond. Your response can either be explaining where the background check was incorrect (i.e., an expunged conviction showed on your record) or why they should still hire you despite the conviction.
Expunging the Wet Reckless Conviction Will Affect Your Employment
Under the Fair Chance Act, employers may not use expunged convictions against you for the purposes of rescinding a job offer. Likewise, an employer you currently work for may not see the wet reckless conviction on your record once its expunged.
Expungement is only possible once you have completed all the mandated terms from your conviction. This is another area in which a wet reckless conviction is better than a DUI: the shorter probation period means you may have your record expunged sooner.
In order to have your record expunged, you need to have the right paperwork filed with the court. A DUI lawyer can help you file the necessary paperwork and, if the prosecution objects, can represent you in any proceedings to argue for the expungement.
An expungement will not purge the conviction from your driving record. This may impact your ability to get certain jobs that rely on a clean driving record, but those positions may only be a small subset of jobs available to you.
Contact a DUI Lawyer Today to Learn More About Wet Reckless Charges
If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, contact a DUI lawyer today by calling (310) 862-0199. While the impact of a wet reckless charge will be less severe than a DUI, it may not be possible without an experienced DUI lawyer by your side. With only 10 days from when you arrested to contest the DMV’s automatic suspension, you are better off calling soon!