If you have been arrested for a DUI or OVI in Ohio, not only does a conviction result in serious penalties such as a jail sentence, fines, and loss of driving privileges, but also a permanent criminal record that could damage your professional reputation and personal life. Fortunately, it may be possible to have a drunk driving charge plea bargained down to a reckless driving charge.
Commonly known as “wet reckless,” this type of reckless driving charge involves alcohol. The prosecution might accept or offer a wet reckless plea deal if it was the defendant’s first DUI offense, his/her BAC was considered borderline or slightly over the limit after the arrest, and there were no accident and injuries involved.
The following are the benefits of a wet reckless compared to a DUI conviction:
- The possibility of no jail time – A conviction for a first-time DUI is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year. On the other hand, a reckless driving conviction with no prior traffic violations within the past year results in no jail sentence. If you committed one prior traffic violation, the reckless driving conviction is punishable by a jail term of up to 30 days, which is significantly less than a DUI conviction.
- The possibility of no license suspension – A first-time DUI conviction also means losing your license for up to three years. While judges have the discretion to suspend a driver’s license for reckless driving, they are not required to.
- Cheaper fines – A first-time DUI conviction can lead to fines of over $1,000, while a reckless driving charge with no prior traffic violation is only punishable by a maximum fine of $100. If you committed one prior traffic violation, the reckless driving conviction results in $250 in fines.
Keep in mind, if you are arrested for a subsequent drunk driving charge, the wet reckless will count as a prior DUI conviction, which means harsher penalties for a second conviction. Other than that, this type of plea deal can help you avoid being sentenced to jail, paying expensive fines, and losing your driver’s license.
At Patituce & Associates, our Cleveland DUI attorney has more than 30 years of experience helping countless clients who have faced drunk driving charges. We can evaluate your case, determine your legal options, and develop a strong defense plan to get your life back on track.
For more information about our legal services, contact us and request a confidential consultation today.