In Pennsylvania, there is a difference between the idea of reckless driving and the idea of wet reckless driving. When a person hears that they are being charged with reckless driving, they may mistakenly think that it is not that big of a deal. There have been instances where individuals chose not to appear in court, their court date comes and goes, the deadline to appeal the conviction passes, and then there is nothing that can be done to change their conviction. When a person fully understands what reckless driving is, when they understand what wet reckless means, and when they see the difference between this and a DUI charge, then they understand why it is imperative that they seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.
Reckless driving is a term used in Pennsylvania to describe someone who drives a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. In Pennsylvania, person who violates and is convicted of reckless driving will have a fine of $200.
Pennsylvania takes reckless driving seriously because it puts the lives of its citizens in jeopardy. Heavy fines and the possibility of jail time is seen as a deterrent to prevent people from driving recklessly. Reckless driving that leads to an injury can result in a minimum of 90 days behind bars and a fine of at least $1,000. If a person engages in reckless driving and it leads to someone losing their life, they may face a fine of up to $25,000 and may be sentenced for a minimum of up to 12 months.
“Wet Reckless” is where an individual is driving recklessly while they are under the influence of alcohol. Wet reckless is not as severe as a charge of driving under the influence. Since it is not as severe, it does not carry the same consequences. This is why if a criminal defense attorney is able to get a driving under the influence charge down to wet reckless, it may be in the best interest of the client to accept this lesser charge. Of course, they will need to weigh in all of the factors involved.
There are several factors that a prosecutor will evaluate when determining whether or not to accept a plea of wet reckless. One thing they will look at is an individual’s blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest. How close was their blood alcohol level to the intoxication level of .08 percent?
Another factor that will be considered is whether or not the individual was involved in an auto accident and if they have previous DUI convictions. If a person has a criminal history or they have a number of traffic offenses, then a prosecutor may not accept the plea deal. This is also true if a person is facing additional charges, such as evading police, resisting arrest, or fleeing the scene.
Wet reckless comes with the possibility of up to 90 days behind bars. There is a minimum fine of $200, and you get four points on your driving record. You may be required to visit an alcohol education center or receive alcohol treatment. It is also possible that your license will be suspended for up to six months for the first offense.
If a criminal defense attorney is able to get your plea down from a DUI to a wet reckless, you may be spared some of the long-term consequences that come with a DUI. Your license may not be suspended, you might escape having a DUI on your criminal record, and you may not have as hefty of fines to pay.