What is it? Is it better than a DUI? How do I get one?
Many who search for more information about their DUI and the law that governs it will come across the alternative plea of reckless driving. Some believe it is not a DUI while others have been lead to believe it is exactly the same thing but with a different title. Here is some information to clarify some of the issues that come with a reckless driving offense.
Is reckless driving better than a DUI?
In short, yes. A wet reckless is initially charged (almost always) as a DUI. But if you get a lawyer, in certain circumstances like if the BAC is low enough or if there are problems with proving the case, the lawyer can negotiate the DUI to a wet reckless. How this happens can be a lengthy discussion.
Because a “wet reckless” does not carry a minimum jail punishment and less in fines and/or classes. Further, because probation is shorter for a “wet reckless” it can be expunged from a criminal record sooner than a DUI. Once you successfully complete the term of probation, you can apply for an expungement to get the conviction off your criminal record. However, just because the conviction is expunged from your record does not mean it is gone, it is still a priorable offense if you get another DUI within the next ten years.
Does a “reckless driving” count as a prior DUI?
In short, yes if you have been convicted of a wet reckless within the last ten years. One draw back of a “wet reckless” is that if you do get a second or third DUI, the wet reckless is what is called a priorable offense and will likely increase your punishment like a regular DUI conviction.
What about a “dry” reckless driving?
It is less common and harder to get but a DUI plea agreement can be negotiated down by your lawyer to a “dry” reckless driving. Reckless driving or “dry reckless” occur in a variety of situations even when you have not been drinking. A conviction for reckless driving instead of a DUI is very advantageous because the mandatory fines and fees are less, there is no DUI class and it is not a priorable offense, if in fact you do get another DUI.
What Should I do if I want a reckless driving instead of a DUI?
There is no question that you should consult with an experienced attorney who handles DUI offenses so that your case can be evaluated in detail to determine your chances. Doing so will help you figure out where to put your time and effort in your case so that you are not spinning your wheels in fighting your charges.