When you are charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania, it is sometimes possible to get your charges reduced to reckless driving. Your West Chester DUI lawyer might be able to get the prosecutor to agree to reduce your charge if it is your first offense or if the police acted improperly. A DUI lawyer in Chester County at DiCindio Law can review your case and explain the options and defense strategies that might apply. Your attorney can review what happened to identify any factors that might allow you to argue for a reduction of your charges.
What is a “Wet Reckless” Charge in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, a reckless driving charge that is alcohol-related is commonly known as a “wet reckless” offense. It is not specifically entitled this in the vehicle code – it is a common term legal practitioners use during the course of negotiations while trying to lower a DUI charge to a vehicle offense that is non-DUI related. Legally, we are solely speaking about Reckless Driving offenses. This offense often carries lower penalties than a regular DUI. Depending on the circumstances of your case, it might be possible to plea bargain your DUI charge down to a “wet reckless” driving offense. However, prosecutors normally will not agree to reduce DUI charges to “wet reckless” offenses unless there are problems with the case.
Factors that Might Result in a “Wet Reckless” Driving Charge
If you do not have a defense lawyer, it will be difficult for you to convince a prosecutor to reduce your DUI to a “wet reckless” offense. When you are represented by a criminal defense lawyer, you might have a greater chance of getting your charges reduced. At DiCindio Law, we understand the factors that might lead a prosecutor to agree to reduce a DUI down to a “wet reckless” offense. Some of the factors that could influence a prosecutor to reduce a DUI charge include the following:
- Whether it is your first DUI offense
- What your BAC was when you were arrested
- Whether you caused an accident
- What your criminal and driving records include
- Whether you are facing other criminal charges besides the DUI
Unlawful Arrest Leading to Reduced Charges
Police officers must follow the law when they stop people, conduct searches, seize evidence, and make arrests. If the officer in your case engaged in unlawful or improper conduct when stopping your vehicle, questioning you, investigating you, or placing you under arrest, it might be possible to secure a reduction of your DUI charge to a “wet reckless” offense. Your attorney can evaluate video footage of your stop and how the police placed you under arrest to determine whether the officer violated your rights.
Some examples of factors that could result in a reduction of your charges include the following:
- Lack of reasonable suspicion to support the stop
- No probable cause to support your arrest
- Improperly administered roadside tests
- BAC lower than 0.08%
- Improperly administered breath, blood, or urine test
- No signs of impairment on the video
There might be other factors in your case that could help to get your charges reduced. Your attorney can review the evidence in your case and explain your legal options.
“Wet reckless” vs. a DUI
The penalties of a “wet reckless” driving charge are lower than the penalties for a DUI. If you are convicted of a DUI, you can face different penalties based on your BAC at the time of your arrest. A DUI conviction can result in a suspension of your driving privileges, a jail sentence, fines, probation, alcohol treatment, and other penalties. A DUI will also leave you with a criminal record, which can make it harder to find a good job or purchase a home. A DUI conviction can also potentially cause problems in your interpersonal relationships.
“Wet Reckless” Driving Charge Penalties
While a wet reckless offense is a lesser offense than a DUI, it still carries penalties. Your license will be suspended if you are convicted of a “wet reckless” driving charge. Your insurance rates may still increase, but they might not go up as much as they would if you were convicted of a DUI.
Some of the potential penalties of a “wet reckless” driving charge include the following:
- $200 fine
- From zero to 90 days in jail
- Suspension of your license for up to six months
- Alcohol treatment or education classes
How a Defense Lawyer Might be Able to Help
Before your attorney can negotiate with the prosecutor for a reduction of your DUI charge, he or she will first need to establish why your charges should be reduced.
Some of the considerations that might affect whether or not your DUI charge might be reduced include the following:
- Whether the stop, search, investigation, and arrest were proper
- Whether the blood or breath test was administered properly
- Whether your blood or urine sample was stored, transported, and analyzed properly
- Whether the officer made errors during the investigation
To support the reasons for reducing your charges, we will gather evidence to present to the prosecutor. Some of the types of evidence that might help to support a reduction of your DUI charge include video footage from the police officer or the officer’s vehicle, witnesses, surveillance footage, lab results, and others.
Talk To a Criminal Defense Attorney Near Me
Facing DUI charges can be a scary experience. If you have been charged with a DUI, it might be possible to get it reduced to a wet reckless driving offense. Michael DiCindio at DiCindio Law previously worked as a prosecutor before becoming a criminal defense attorney in West Chester. He knows the types of issues that can lead to a reduction of DUI charges and how to present evidence to the prosecutor to secure a favorable plea agreement. Call us today for a consultation so that you can learn about your legal options at 610.430.3535.