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What Is a “Wet Reckless” Charge, and How Might It Affect My Columbus DUI Case?

Posted On: May 13th, 2019   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
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Columbus police and prosecutors take drunk driving very seriously, and cases involving this behavior are prosecuted aggressively. As intimidating as it can be, you need to remember that there is hope if you are arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). However, you need an attorney on your side who has the knowledge necessary to fight for you to obtain a result – which could include getting your charge reduced to a “wet reckless.”

At Luftman, Heck & Associates, our Columbus OVI lawyers help people charged with drunk driving face their charges, and we’re ready to help you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, contact us today at (614) 500-3836.

What is a “Wet Reckless?”

In Ohio, you can be charged with DUI for operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. However, no test is perfect, and there may be issues with how the test was conducted, how the samples were handled, or the testing equipment itself. This is particularly problematic in cases where your BAC is at .08% or slightly higher – you might not actually be guilty of DUI were it not for these potential errors.

In these cases, the prosecutor may allow you to avoid a possible DUI conviction by pleading to a lesser charge of reckless driving where alcohol is a factor. This is commonly referred to as a “wet reckless.”

It’s important to note that you can’t be charged with a “wet reckless.” There is no specific crime of reckless driving while under the influence of alcohol in Ohio. A wet reckless plea can only be offered by the prosecution. That said, a skilled DUI defense attorney can negotiate with a prosecutor in an attempt to have your charge reduced to a wet reckless.

How Might a Wet Reckless Affect My Columbus DUI Case?

The penalties imposed on a wet reckless plea and far less severe and much different than those for an OVI charge. For a first-time DUI conviction in Ohio, you face the following penalties:

BAC Between .08% and .17%

  • Three days to six months in jail
  • Fines between $375 and $1,075
  • Driver’s license suspension

BAC of .17% or Higher

  • Jail time of six days to six months
  • Fines of up to $1,075
  • Participation in a driver intervention program
  • Suspension of your driver’s license

If you have prior DUI convictions within the last 10 years, the penalties increase dramatically. Although they will vary according to your driving record, the penalties for a wet reckless are far less harsh.

  • If you have no prior traffic convictions, you will likely receive a $100 fine.
  • If you have one prior traffic conviction, you face up to 30 days in jail, and/or fines reaching $250.
  • If you have two prior traffic convictions within the last year, you face up to 60 days in jail and/or $500 in fines.

Contact a Columbus DUI Defense Attorney for Help with Your DUI Charge

Facing a DUI charge can be overwhelming, but you need to remember that you have options. If you’ve been charged with DUI in Columbus, Ohio, the attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates know how to navigate the OVI system while they fight for you to get a fair result. We have the knowledge, skills, and experience you need during the legal process. To schedule a free, initial evaluation of your drunk driving case, contact us today at (614) 500-3836, or reach out through the online form.

I can FINALLY breathe easy now. I want to thank Mr. Bowen and all the attorneys that helped me with this case.

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