The Differences Between a Wet Reckless Charge and a DUI Charge
When an individual is facing one or more criminal charges, it is often possible for him or her to have one of the charges dismissed or the single charge reduced in exchange for a plea of “guilty” or “no contest” to a less severe charge. This is known as a plea bargain. In Illinois, it is possible to have a DUI charge reduced through a plea bargain. This reduced charge is known as a “wet reckless” and is a type of reckless driving charge. Moreover, the defendant faces the penalties associated with a reckless driving conviction instead of those associated with a DUI. These penalties are less severe than the penalties for a DUI conviction.
Along with avoiding the consequences for a DUI, the defendant also avoids having a DUI conviction on his or her record, which can provide an advantage later if he or she is charged with a subsequent DUI. It is also important to note that, in most cases, a DUI cannot be expunged in Illinois.
What to Consider if you are Offered a Plea for your DUI Charge
Generally, reckless driving is charged at the same level as a first time DUI: a Class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor conviction can land an individual in jail for up to one year. In a sense, a DUI is not really “reduced” to a reckless driving charge; however, the consequences for the charge certainly are reduced. With a reckless driving conviction, the defendant does not face a driver’s license suspension. With either conviction, the defendant must still pay fines and complete an alcohol education course.
When there are other issues at play in your case, such as another party being injured in a collision that occurred while you were under the influence, a plea bargain can become a more attractive option. It could also become a less realistic option.
Even if it is possible for you to have your DUI charge replaced with a reckless driving charge, it is not always in your best interest to do so. When you choose a plea bargain, you choose a guaranteed conviction. If the evidence to support the charge against you is weak, you could be better off opting to fight the charge and potentially be found not guilty.
Talk to your lawyer about your likelihood of conviction when determining whether to seek a plea bargain. Although you could be found not guilty in your trial, keep in mind that the criminal justice process can be lengthy, expensive, and complicated. Taking a plea bargain can get you out of court faster without putting as much of a strain on your finances as defending your case could.
Work with an Experienced Naperville DUI Defense Attorney
A DUI charge does not automatically mean a DUI conviction. If you have been charged with DUI, contact our team of experienced Naperville DUI defense lawyers at Law Office of Glenn M. Sowa, LLC today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office.