There are eight (8) reasons why a dry reckless plea bargain is much better than a DUI.
- A dry reckless is not a priorable offense.
- There is no ignition interlock device requirement.
- Shorter jail sentence.
- Less time on probation.
- Lower fines.
- No mandatory loss of your driver’s license.
- No mandatory participation at DUI classes.
- Insurance policy less likely to be canceled.
In this article I will explain why a dry reckless plea bargain is better than pleading to a wet reckless or DUI and when you may be able to get a dry reckless.
Let’s get started…
What Is A Dry Reckless?
A dry reckless charge is a misdemeanor that is applied in cases where a person is driving in a way that demonstrates a flagrant disregard of the safety of people or property1.
Depending on the circumstances and evidence in a case a defendant may also be able to plead down to a dry reckless after an arrest for a DUI.
What Are The Benefits Of A Dry Reckless vs A DUI?
As mentioned above there are eight (8) benefits to a dry reckless so lets review them individually.
A dry reckless is not a priorable offense.
This means that any subsequent DUI or wet reckless conviction within 10-years will not be enhanced because the dry reckless is not considered a prior conviction.
There is no ignition interlock device requirement.
A DUI conviction will require the installation of an ignition interlock device but with a dry reckless plea bargain, you can avoid this requirement.
Shorter jail sentence.
A dry reckless conviction carries a possible jail sentence of up to 90-days while a DUI conviction can have a maximum jail sentence of 180-364 days in jail2.
Less time on probation.
Following a DUI conviction, the court will typically place you on probation for 3 to 5-years.
For a dry reckless, the probation period is 1-3 years.
Fines for a DUI range from $390 to $1000. For a dry reckless, the minimum mandatory fine is $145.
No mandatory loss of your driver’s license.
Because you are not pleading guilty to a DUI, your license is not automatically suspended.
But since you were initially charged with a DUI, you still would have had to contest the suspension of your license at the administrative hearing before the DMV and obtained a ruling that your BAC was either not 0.08% or that you were not driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
No mandatory participation in DUI classes.
Following a DUI conviction, there are 3-18 months of mandatory DUI classes. A dry reckless does not have a mandatory DUI class as part of the disposition.
However, a prosecutor or judge may still require participation in a six-week program to fulfill the requirements of a plea deal.
Insurance policy is less likely to be canceled.
Insurance companies are more likely to overlook a dry reckless conviction and they are much less likely to cancel your insurance policy and you will not be required to get an sr-22.
However, a dry reckless conviction is 2 points on your driving record3.
What Are The Advantages Of A Dry Reckless Over A Wet Reckless Disposition?
A wet reckless is actually a conviction for a “dry reckless” under the vehicle code section but is accompanied by the caveat that alcohol or drugs were involved.
The advantages of a dry reckless over a wet reckless include:
- A wet reckless is a priorable offense; a dry reckless is not.
- Your insurer will not treat the conviction as alcohol-related.
- No affect on your license
A dry reckless plea is not alcohol-related so your license may not be affected.
Will A Dry Reckless Affect My Professional License?
A dry reckless conviction will not invite the same amount of inquiry that a DUI or wet reckless might invite with respect to professional or commercial licenses and certifications because it is in no way associated with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.4
When Is A Prosecutor Likely To Offer A Dry Reckless Reduction From A DUI?
Problems of proof are the determing factors that may cause a prosecutor to offer a dry reckless plea bargain.
Those problems of proof may include:
- The breathalyzer was not calibrated properly
- A DUI blood test sample contained an insufficient quantity of preservative
- There was a break in the evidentiary chain of custody for the blood sample
- A breath or blood sample was taken more than three hours after the defendant’s arrest
- There is medical evidence that the defendant suffered from severe GERD and was experiencing it at the time a breath sample was taken
- Present evidence that the defendant had residual mouth alcohol that was tested
- The officer did not fully observe the defendant for 15-minutes before testing
- The technician was unable to obtain 2 breath samples that did not differ more than 0.02 grams per 100 milliliters of blood alcohol
- The defendant vomited just before taking the breath test
- The defendant may not have been properly advised of his rights
- There may be a lack of probable cause to arrest the defendant
- There is insufficient or sparse evidence that the defendant was under the influence
Next Steps If You Need Help
If you have been arrested and would like to learn more about how much DUI attorneys cost.
If you want to understand why its important to have an attorney represent you.
If you would like to discuss a pending case with an attorney contact the Aizman Law Firm at 818-334-6855 for a free confidential consultation.
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- Vehicle Code 23103 VC – Dry Reckless [↩]
- Vehicle Code 23103(a) VC – Dry Reckless: A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving. . . . (c) Except as otherwise provided in Section 40008, persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104 or 23105. [↩]
- Vehicle Code 12810 [↩]
- Id. [↩]