Many times, law enforcement will suspect a driver of being under the influence of alcohol and driving with a BAC over .08%. However, that may not always be the case. In many cases, your blood or breath results may come back below the 08% cutoff, your drinking pattern may reveal that your blood alcohol level was rising and that you were actually below a .08% at the time or driving, or you may have no alcohol in your system at all and/or only be driving under the influence of drugs. Any of these factors may be cause for your DUI to be reduced to a “wet reckless” pursuant to Vehicle Code §23103/23103.5.
Under California law, a conviction under Vehicle Code §23103/23103.5 carries with it much less harsh consequences. A first-time DUI conviction in Riverside County requires a 3-month drinking driver class, over $1700 in penalty fines, and a 4-month driver’s license suspension. In contrast, a “wet reckless” conviction only requires a 12-hour drinking driver class, over $600 in penalty fines, and would not automatically trigger a driver’s license suspension. A “wet reckless”, however, would count as a prior DUI if you are ever charged with a DUI in the future (within 10 years of the wet reckless). The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the agency responsible for determining the status of any license suspension, and it is critical for an experienced DUI attorney to conduct your DMV hearing in order to fight against any license suspension.
Therefore, being arrested for a California DUI doesn't always mean you have to be convicted of that charge. The main objective of a skilled Temecula DUI Attorney / Temecula Criminal Defense Attorney is to get the charge dismissed, if possible. Many times, however, although a flat-out dismissal may not be possible, a reduction of the charges to a “wet” or “dry” reckless is not only possible, but may be very likely.
A "dry reckless”, or simply reckless driving pursuant to Vehicle Code §23103(a), is even more desirable than a “wet reckless”. This charge is not alcohol-related at all and will not count as a prior DUI, even within 10 years of a conviction. A skilled DUI attorney may be able to negotiate your DUI arrest down to a “dry reckless” so you can avoid not only having the DUI conviction on your record, but also the exorbitant fines and fees that a DUI carries and the lengthy drinking driver program.
There are also a host of other possibilities in negotiating DUI cases, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case. These include the following:
- Exhibition of speed
- Penal Code 647(f) drunk in public or
- A combination of traffic infractions/moving violations.
If you or a loved one are charged with DUI, do not walk into court alone and face the only option of pleading guilty to the crime charged. Ensure your rights are protected by hiring an experienced DUI attorney. Call our office at 951-698-1250 today for your free consultation.