What is Wet Reckless Driving in Arizona?

what is wet reckless drivingUnlike most other offenses, it is very difficult to plea down to a lesser charge for DUI.  Plea down just means your DUI attorney negotiates with the prosecutor to either dismiss the charges against you, or to agree to convict you of a lower charge. With DUI, there really aren’t many lesser charges to plea down to. Furthermore, since DUI is such a dangerous offense, courts are reluctant to do this. However, there is one circumstance where your lawyer may be able to plea down to what is called a “wet reckless” charge.

Arizona is one of the strictest states when it comes to DUI. It is very rare that they would ever agree to a lesser offense. Your DUI attorney will have to work hard with the prosecutor to negotiate a lesser plea. One possible plea is something called a “wet reckless.”

What is a Wet Reckless Charge?

A wet reckless charge is simply a reckless driving charge that involves alcohol. The “wet” refers to the alcohol itself. It is very difficult to get a DUI charge reduced to a wet reckless. There are certain times when this is more likely than not. These situations include:

  • You are a first-time offender
  • Your BAC was very close to .08
  • There are other defenses that you may bring up
  • The prosecutor has holes in their case

In these situations, it is more likely (but not a guarantee) that you can get a plea down to a wet reckless. A wet reckless can be used whether there were alcohol or drugs involved.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of a Wet Reckless

A wet reckless does not let the offender get off scot-free. There still serious consequences for a wet reckless charge. Here are some of the pros and cons of a wet reckless plea:

  • Pros:
    • No mandatory sentence for a wet reckless
    • Less jail time – a DUI carries up to 6 months in jail where a wet reckless only carries 90 days in jail
    • No automatic license suspension
    • The probation period is only 1-2 years for a wet reckless as opposed to a 3-5 year probation period for a DUI
  • Cons:
    • A wet reckless will still count as a prior offense for future DUI purposes. If you plea to a wet reckless today and are convicted with DUI in 5 years, it will be considered a second offense. However, this would be the case with a DUI conviction anyway.
    • Insurance companies treat both DUI and wet reckless the same way.

Considering these pros and cons, it is still obviously favorable to plea to a wet reckless rather than face a DUI conviction.

Contact a DUI Lawyer in Arizona to Negotiate a Wet Reckless Plea

If you have been charged with a DUI, you are going to need a DUI lawyer. In Arizona, the DUi laws