What Does ‘Wet Reckless’ Mean?
Most people have heard of drunk driving charges, but very few people have heard of a “wet reckless” charge. While it may sound like a very strange name for a criminal charge, it’s actually a reference to the fact that the defendant is being accused of driving “recklessly”, while under the influence of alcohol – hence the “wet” portion of the title.
Technically, if someone pleads guilty to a wet reckless charge, what they are pleading to is a reckless driving charge. However, in order for it to be considered a “wet” reckless, the prosecutor has to state for the record that the defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.
What is a Wet Reckless Charge?
A wet reckless charge is one of several charge reductions that drunk driving defense lawyers might get for their clients facing traditional DUI charges. In most cases, a wet reckless charge is offered as a plea bargain by a Michigan prosecutor in certain situations.
One of these situations is when the defendant’s blood alcohol level was close to, but still below the legal limit according to DWI defense expert Attorney John English. Mr. English, a defense attorney at The Kronzek Firm, has a quarter of a century of experience defending drunk driving cases.
Another example of a situation when a wet reckless charge may be offered as a plea bargain, is when the prosecution has a weak case that they are not certain of winning in court. Attorney English says that for many prosecutors, they would rather accept a plea to a lesser charge, than risk case that has a chance of unravelling on them during trial.
However, only a good drunk driving attorney will be able to determine whether or not a wet reckless charge is the right one for you. Because each county prosecutor is different, and each case is distinct, you should not attempt to make any legal decisions or accept any offers without first consulting with your experienced drunk driving attorney.
What is the difference between a wet reckless and a DUI?
There are a number of differences between standard DUI charges, and wet reckless charges. For starters, there aren’t any mandatory sentencing enhancements for those facing a wet reckless charge. This means that, unlike with a DUI, where you would have mandatory sentencing enhancements if you have already been convicted of a DUI at any point in the last seven to ten years in Michigan, with a wet reckless charge the court is not required to increase your sentence to reflect that prior charge.
Additionally, your driver’s license might not be suspended. With a standard DUI, the law requires that a convicted person’s driver’s license be suspended for a fixed period of time. However, with a wet reckless charge, the law does not require this suspension, and the decision is left in the hands of the court. It is worth noting, however, that the Secretary of State might still choose to suspend your license, regardless of what the court chooses to do.
Another difference is the length of the possible jail sentence and the probation period. With a DUI, the jail time is a maximum of six months for a second offense, but for a wet reckless charge the maximum is 90 days. This applies to probationary periods as well.
And finally, there at those fines. The fines that the district court will order you to pay for a DUI conviction are considerably higher than for a wet reckless charge. Although, chances are, your insurance premiums may go up, which is something that the court has no control over. But as you can see, for someone who is unlikely to avoid some kind of charge, a wet reckless charge is far preferable to a standard DUI in Michigan.
The Kronzek Firm Drunk Driving Attorneys
At The Kronzek Firm, our team of experienced and trusted drunk driving attorneys defend our clients against drunk driving, DUI, DWI, OUI, OWI, wet reckless, and all other forms of drug and alcohol related charges across the state of Michigan.
The consequences of impaired driving, driving under the influence (DUI), or Operating While Intoxicated can be severe here in Michigan. But with the right attorney, who will fight for your rights and protect you from over-zealous police officers and politically-minded prosecutors, you have a better chance of overcoming trumped up charges.
The attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience and frequently work together as a team, using their resources to provide our clients with the best defense against drunk driving related charges.
If you or a family member or loved one have been arrested for drunk driving, or charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you are going to need an excellent DUI attorney on your team. So call us today at 1 866-766-5245. You can also email The Kronzek Firm at: Attorneys@kronzek.law. We can help you.