A DUI is a serious misdemeanor charge in California, and, if you’re facing one for the very first time, you might be wondering how you could avoid a conviction. The fact is that, while it may or may not be possible to dispute the DUI charge and have it dismissed, you might have other options available to you depending on the details of your case. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, your lawyer might be able to work things out so that you can plead down to a charge of dry reckless driving, a less serious misdemeanor crime.
A dry reckless is a reckless driving charge that does not involve alcohol. You may face a misdemeanor reckless driving charge when you drive in a way that shows flagrant disregard for the safety of others or their property. A dry reckless conviction is still a criminal offense; however, it could have less of an impact on your future than a DUI conviction.
If your DUI lawyer in San Diego can negotiate with the prosecutor on your case for you to plead guilty to a charge of dry reckless instead of DUI, take the opportunity. Discuss if this could be an option for you with Attorney Dod of Dod Law by calling (619) 814-5110.
Why is a Reckless Driving Conviction Favorable to a DUI?
There are several reasons why it could benefit you to plead guilty to a charge of dry reckless instead of driving under the influence of alcohol. First, a dry reckless driving charge is a misdemeanor that does not involve alcohol, which alone makes it less harmful than a DUI. The penalty for a first DUI conviction could be a one-year suspension of your driver’s license.
Dry Reckless Convictions are Not Priorable Offenses
What is a “priorable offense?” This simply means that if you have a dry reckless conviction, it can’t count against you if you get convicted of DUI in the future since it’s not a prior DUI. Any subsequent DUI conviction will not invoke enhanced penalties because of the dry reckless conviction.
There is No Need to Install an IID Device
A dry reckless conviction in no way implies that you were driving under the influence. So, you will not need to install an ignition interlock device (IID) if you’re convicted of a dry reckless instead of a DUI. In California, you would be required to install an IID upon a DUI conviction, even if it’s your first DUI.
You Will Face a Shorter Sentence
Since a dry reckless is less serious than a DUI, your sentence may be shorter. The maximum jail sentence for a dry reckless is 90 days, whereas a DUI leads to anywhere between 180 and 364 days in jail.
You Will Get a Smaller Fine
A typical part of any criminal sentence involves paying fines and fees. The fines you may face for a dry reckless are less than the possible fines for DUI, which can reach up to $1,000.
Your Probation Period Will be Shorter
After completing a sentence for DUI, you may be ordered to a term of probation, which is a period of close supervision. Your probation period could be from 3-5 years for a DUI; however, for a dry reckless, it can run between one and three years.
You Will Not Be Required to Participate in DUI Classes
In California, you may be required to attend DUI classes for 3 to 18 months. This is not a requirement for a dry reckless conviction.
When Could I Be Offered a Dry Reckless Driving Reduction?
If there are difficulties proving DUI in your case, the prosecutor might offer a plea bargain in which you might plead guilty to a dry reckless driving charge instead of DUI. Some circumstances that may lead to this are:
- Breathalyzer improperly calibrated
- Breath or blood sample was taken more than 3 hours after arrest
- Mouth alcohol present during breath test
- Lack of probable cause for a DUI arrest
Call Attorney Dod of Dod Law for Tough DUI Defense
When you need reliable DUI defense in San Diego, you can count on Attorney Dod of Dod Law. With more than 16 years of experience, he has handled more than 6,500 cases, including 75 jury trials.
Attorney Dod is deeply involved in the criminal law sphere in San Diego. He’s a member of the San Diego Criminal Defense Bar Association and the National College for DUI Defense. You can trust that he will provide the appropriate guidance to help you win a favorable outcome. Call 619-814-5110 for a free consultation with a San Diego DUI lawyer or complete our contact form.