What is a “Wet Reckless” in Florida?
A “wet reckless” is usually the result of a plea bargain for a DUI case in Florida. It refers to a reckless driving charge that can be obtained instead of a DUI charge. Reckless driving charges carry substantially fewer penalties than DUI charges. Prosecutors may offer a wet reckless in lieu of a DUI in specific circumstances.
In this article, the Orlando, FL DUI attorneys at FL DUI Group, will discuss the ins and outs of a wet reckless charge under Florida law.
The benefits of a wet reckless in Florida
Those who are charged with a wet reckless instead of DUI face substantially fewer penalties than those who plead guilty to DUI in Florida. Not only do you face lower fines, but you also face less potential jail time. The damage to your driving record is not as harsh as a DUI and your insurance premiums won’t go up as much as they would if you plead guilty to DUI.
Florida wet reckless and DUI charges
To convict someone of a DUI charge in Florida, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the individual was in actual physical control of the vehicle at the time of their arrest and that while driving the vehicle, the defendant was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that their normal faculties were impaired. Alternatively, the police can establish that you had a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .08 or higher.
If a prosecutor is unable to establish either of those conditions, then they may be willing to offer the defendant a plea deal for wet reckless. Examples of instances where a prosecutor may be willing to offer a plea deal include:
- Dashboard camera footage appears to contradict observations made by the arresting officer
- The defendant’s normal faculties were no impaired
- The traffic stop was unlawful (no probable cause to pull over the vehicle)
- The defendant had a BAC of less than .08
- The breathalyzer administered at the scene was calibrated improperly
- A breath, blood, or urine test was administered improperly
- The defendant’s BAC was close to .08 which was within the breathalyzer’s margin of error (.02)
According to Florida Statute § 316.656, no judge can accept a plea of guilty to a lesser offense when the charged driver’s BAC is greater than .15 or charged with manslaughter while operating a motor vehicle.
Penalties for wet reckless in Orlando, FL
The penalties for a wet reckless are substantially lower than a DUI:
- A fine of up to $500
- Up to 90 days in jail
- Completion of a DUI program or substance abuse course
The penalties for a first-time DUI are:
- Fine of up to $1,000
- Up to 6 months in jail
- One-year revocation of driver’s license
- 50 hours of community service
- Completion of a DUI program and substance abuse course
Talk to an Orlando, FL DUI Attorney Today
The Florida DUI defense attorneys at FL DUI Group represent the interests of those charged with DUI in the area. Call our office today to schedule an appointment and we can begin discussing your options right away.