Colorado Springs Wet Reckless Plea Attorney
Wet reckless is not an actual criminal offense in Colorado. You cannot be arrested and charged with wet reckless. Rather, it is a term used in plea bargaining for a plea of reckless driving combined with alcohol education. A wet reckless plea allows you to keep an alcohol related driving offense off your record and avoid a mandatory jail sentence. If you have been arrested on impaired driving charges, speak with an experienced Colorado Springs DUI defense lawyer about a wet reckless plea bargain.
Your DUI defense lawyer may be able to secure a plea offer of wet reckless if you are facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while alcohol impaired (DWAI). If you are offered and accept a wet reckless plea, you will be required to plead guilty to reckless driving and to take alcohol education classes. A wet reckless plea can be beneficial for defendants. First offense DUI carries criminal penalties of up to one year in jail, fines of up to $1,000, probation for up to two years, and 48 to 96 hours of public service, in addition to driver’s license suspension and points on your driving record. First offense DWAI is punishable by up to 180 days in jail, fines of $200 to $500, up to two years of probation, and 24 to 48 hours of public service.
It is rare for the prosecution to offer a wet reckless plea and nearly impossible to obtain such an offer without the assistance of an experienced Colorado Springs wet reckless attorney. To offer a wet reckless plea, the prosecuting attorney must go on record stating that he or she could not establish a prima facie case if the defendant were brought to trial. A prima facie case is a cause of action sufficiently established by the evidence to justify a verdict.
For example, in a DUI case, blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is prima facie evidence that the defendant was under the influence of alcohol. In some cases, an experienced DUI defense attorney who knows how to find every flaw in the prosecution’s case may be able to challenge the evidence and negotiate a wet reckless plea bargain.
If your DUI or DWAI charges are reduced to wet reckless, you must plead guilty to the charge of reckless driving. You will also be required to attend alcohol education classes. Reckless driving is a class 2 misdemeanor. When you plead guilty to this offense, eight points are assessed against your driving record. You may also face jail time of up to 90 days and a fine of up to $300 for a first offense. Nevertheless, potential criminal penalties are significantly less severe for wet reckless than for a DWAI or DUI conviction.
Wet reckless pleas are rare and difficult to secure. Your best chance of being offered wet reckless is to have an experienced DUI defense lawyer representing you. If your case does not qualify for a wet reckless offer, a skilled DUI or DWAI defense can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.
Timothy Bussey, founding attorney of The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., is one of two lawyers in Colorado with the ACS Forensic Lawyer-Scientist designation. Our firm has more than two decades of experience defending clients against criminal charges. If you are facing DUI or DWAI charges, call us at (719) 475-2555 to find out how we can help.