Pleading guilty to a lesser charge

Prosecutors sometimes offer DUI defendants the option of pleading guilty to the lesser charge of dry reckless when the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is close to the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Although dry reckless refers to reckless driving without any alcohol involved, in some DUI cases,a skilled defense lawyer may be able to convince the prosecution to reduce the charge to a dry reckless.

Dry reckless is a misdemeanor

Because dry reckless is a misdemeanor; it carries far fewer penalties than more serious driving under the influence (DUI) charges. A conviction for a dry reckless, carries the possibility of jail time, fines and probation. However, the advantage of this charge is that it is not “priorable.” Not priorable means that no DUI conviction appears on your driving record and any subsequent DUI arrest will be treated as a first offense. Second offense DUIs have significant penalty enhancements. Though in many DUI cases, the dry reckless plea bargain may be desirable, there are those situations in which a more favorable outcome may result from a criminal DUI trial.

Pleading guilty to dry-reckless is a considerably lesser charge than being convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 23152. Unlike drunk driving or a wet-reckless charge, dry reckless generally carries only probation and a much smaller fine than in a driving under the influence (DUI) case. There is one inherent disadvantage to receiving a dry reckless driving charge. Generally, DMV will add two points to the driving record of the defendant. If a person acquires too many points over a short time period, it may trigger a suspension of the license on the basis of operator negligence. In addition, the court may require the driver to attend alcohol education classes.

Daniel R. Perlman
The Law Offices of Daniel R. Perlman