If you have been charged with a DUI, you may think there is no way to get out of it. After all, if your blood-alcohol content was above the legal limit or if law enforcement officials and medical personnel testify that you were under the influence of alcohol, it would seem there is irrefutable proof that you are to be held accountable. However, there is an excellent defense of which you may not be aware, and a good defense attorney can help you determine if your case fits it.
Many times, people accused of driving under the influence can make a “wet reckless” plea, a crime that carries a much softer penalty than drunk driving. People can usually make this plea if their blood alcohol level was very close to, but not quite, 0.08% or if the state does not have a completely solid case against the defendant. At other times, a person may agree to plead guilty on the condition that they can make a wet reckless claim. A wet reckless claim is an admission of guilt to the charge of driving recklessly; however, the defendant admits that drugs or alcohol were involved in the charges.
There are a number of advantages to making a wet reckless plea. Here are some of them, courtesy of Lawrence Taylor’s DUI Central Blog.
1. A wet reckless charge results in a much shorter jail time. A DUI charge has a maximum jail time of six months, while a wet reckless charge has a maximum jail time of three months.
2. When someone is found guilty of a DUI, their license is automatically suspended. When someone is found guilty of a wet reckless charge, they have the opportunity to keep their license if they can win their DMV hearing.
3. When someone is found guilty of a DUI, they are usually required to attend a three-month DUI school. A wet reckless charge usually requires six weeks of attendance at a DUI school or none at all.
4. DUI carries a three to five year probation period, while a wet reckless charge has a one to two year probation period.
Not everyone who is accused of a DUI is eligible to make a wet reckless plea, so you should consult your attorney to see if it is a viable option for you. If it is possible, a wet reckless charge can save you a significant amount of money and can leave you with a much less incriminating record.
DUI Attorney in Denver - David R. Jones is a criminal defense attorney at the Denver and Golden, Colorado-based Law Offices of D.R. Jones. A former Colorado State Public Defender, Mr. Jones earned his law degree from the University of Denver, College of Law and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1996. He is a member of the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, National Association of Trial Advocacy, and is active in community efforts to improve the criminal justice system.
Do You Know About the Best Way to Lessen Your DUI Charge