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What Does A Plea To Wet Reckless Mean in California?

In California, there are lower consequences for pleading to Wet Reckless (VC 23103 / VC 23103.5) than to  a DUI conviction.

A DUI carries a Mandatory 3 month Alcohol class, Wet Reckless a 12 hour class.

There are usually lower fines for a Wet Reckless.

A Wet Reckless does not have the same insurance consequences.

A Wet Reckless doesn’t result in a Court ordered Suspension of your license, but you may still face a Suspension at the DMV.

A wet reckless doesn’t result in Ignition Interlock Device (IID) requirements, but if your license is Suspended by the DMV you may still need an Ignition Interlock Device.

What that makes a “Wet” Reckless different for your Criminal record (vs. a “Reckless”) is that  a ‘Wet’ Reckless is Priorable as a DUI. So if you get arrested for DUI again within 10 years, you can be charged as though the Wet Reckless is a prior conviction of DUI.,/p>

If you plead guilty to “Wet Reckless” and take the Misdemeanor conviction, it is a Conviction. If you fight and win, you can avoid having a Conviction on your record.

If you lose, it’s a DUI Conviction.

Remember, if the DUI charges are dismissed and you had a DMV Hearing you lost, you can get a second DMV Review Hearing by filing a DS 702.

If you obtained a plea pursuant to Helmandollar v DMV, 7 Cal.App.4th 52, you need to submit the DS 702 showing that there was a not guilty on the .08 or above charge. A Helmandollar Plea involves negotiating a plea to Wet Reckless or something else and rather than dismissing the .08 or above count, there is a Mini-Bench Trial wherein the DA doesn’t present any evidence ,the Defense makes a PC 1118.1 Motion and the Defendant is Acquitted of the charges. The Not Guilty finding is submitted to the DMV and the Suspension is set aside.

Be aware that the DMV sometimes requires completion of an alcohol awareness class to get your license back after a plea to a Wet Reckless where there is a DMV Suspension.

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