What is the difference between a wet and reckless and a DUI? 13 Answers as of May 09, 2011

I had a DUI pled down from .12 to a wet reckless. What if any is the benefit of this for the future? This was in 2007, so I believe my 3 year probation has been completed already.

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Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan
Law Office of Geoffrey M. Yaryan | Geoffrey M. Yaryan
There is very little benefit in the future since it may be used as a prior conviction if you are ever arrested again for a DUI.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/9/2011
Law Offices of Phil Hache
Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
The benefits are that you do not have a DUI on your record, and the consequences of the wet reckless conviction (ie. alcohol school, fines, etc) are often less than a DUI conviction. Note that if you were to receive another DUI within 10 years from your arrest for your wet reckless, even though you do not technically have a DUI on your record, the new charge would be treated as a 2nd DUI (not a first). That is assuming you did not have any prior DUI's before the wet reckless conviction. Hope that helps. Contact me through 1duilawyer.com should you have any more questions.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
It sounds better and the punishment can be lighter. It still counts as a prior for your other DUIs.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
The only future benefit is that you don't have a DUI on your record. There must have been a benefit penaltywise at the time of the conviction
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/29/2011
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
Very little at this point. It counts as a prior conviction if you get another. It is two points on your driving record just like a DUI and the insurance companies consider it comparable to a DUI. You can make a motion for an expungement at this point which would be granted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/28/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    No benefit at all for the future. If you pick up a new DUI within 10 years they can prove the wet reckless as a DUI. The benefit was in the past as you paid a smaller fine and spent less time in DUI school. But congratulations to your lawyer. It is not easy to get a wet reckless out of a .12. He/she did a great job.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas
    Law Office of Thomas J. Ogas | Thomas Ogas
    Wet and Reckless is really Reckless driving, involving alcohol, similar to a DUI but less serious. The DMV may still suspend your license (that is a separate issue). It counts as a prior DUI as well. The real benefit is that there is generally no jail time and the fine is usually about 1/2 as much.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    Technically, a wet reckless is not equivalent to a DUI as it comes under another code section (although it is priorable as a DUI if you get another.) Also, the fine is less. Sounds like you are eligible for an expungement if you want to pursue that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    California Criminal Defense Center
    California Criminal Defense Center | Ardalon Fakhimi
    A Wet Reckless is a reckless driving involving alcohol. The fines are lower and the duration of the alcohol program is shorter. However, a wet reckless conviction can be used as a prior conviction to enhance a subsequent DUI to a 2nd DUI offense. Please contact our office if you would like a more detailed explanation of the differences.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    No difference for any practical purpose. It is treated as a DUI prior for repeat DUI offenses, and by insurance companies. It is a fiction to get people to plead guilty, thinking they are avoiding a DUI history. However, you can consider getting the conviction expunged; it would help in obtaining and keeping employment. Many felony, misdemeanor and infraction convictions, including your DUI, can sometimes be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no felony prison time sentenced whether served or not, and if all terms of sentencing and at least one year of probation are completed, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively reduced to a misdemeanor, if necessary, and then withdrawn and the charges dismissed. Expungement does not clear, 'remove' or erase the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing or employment because of the conviction. If you're serious about doing this, and you think you qualify under those rules, feel free to contact me for the legal help you'll need.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/29/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The benefits are as follows: no license suspension from court, no IID requirement, less insurance premium increase, looks better for school/employment, and finally, easier to expunge. Since you have successfully completed probation, you should contact a DUI lawyer about getting it expunged!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts
    Law Office of Andrew Roberts | Andrew Stephen Roberts
    In reality there is not much difference other than stating that you were not convicted of a DUI. It will count as a first should you get another DUI within 10 years. You might be able to travel to Canada. With a DUI you are not allowed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman
    The Law Offices of Gabriel Dorman | Gabriel Dorman
    There is no benefit to a wet reckless as far as the future is concerned as it can still be used as a prior DUI conviction for purposes of any future DUI arrest occurring within 10 years of the conviction. Generally, a wet reckless will save you some time on probation, money and potentially a shorter alcohol school. However, for purposes of prior DUI convictions, a wet reckless and a DUI function exactly the same.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/28/2011
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