Reckless Driving Charges and Convictions under California State Law
In the state of California, reckless driving is regarded as a misdemeanor. According to California state law, any person who drives irresponsibly and with deliberate disregard for the safety of drivers, pedestrians and/or property is charged with reckless driving.
If convicted, the individual may be charged with a fine of $1,000 or face up to 3 months of jail time. The penalty will be harsher if the driver hurts or kills someone due to their reckless driving. The same is true if the offender has a prior conviction of reckless driving.
What Offences are Included under Reckless Driving in California?
Driving your car at excessive speeds and alternating between traffic lanes are both categorized as reckless driving offences. In the same way, persons convicted for DUI, street racing or hit and runs can be also charged with reckless driving.
If you are convicted for reckless driving, the offence will mar your driving record by two points. Your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended by the local DMV, like the Fresno DMV. In addition, the more points on your driving record, the higher your auto insurance payments too!
What is a Wet Reckless Charge?
California Vehicle Code (VC) Section 23103.5 is nicknamed as a “wet reckless”, which is a reckless driving charge involving alcohol. It is a milder form of a DUI conviction that is offered when the case against you isn’t strong enough to warrant a full penalty.
For instance, if you don’t have a history of reckless driving, the prosecutor may offer you a plea bargain (the “wet reckless”) that counts as a first-time DUI. In case you face a second DUI charge within a period of 10 years, the wet reckless will be regarded as your first DUI offence.
Typically, a wet reckless conviction is slightly lenient in terms of fines, alcohol classes and probationary period. You may also avoid a suspension of your license by the DMV Fresno. It is a watered down version of a DUI charge, and looks better on your driving record than an actual DUI.
The downside of a wet reckless is that, like a DUI, it adds 2 points on your driving record. Also, it is treated just like a DUI by insurance companies, which means you’ll incur higher auto insurance payments.
What is a Dry Reckless Charge?
If you are caught for DUI, your Fresno DUI attorney may be able to reduce the charge to a dry reckless conviction. Unlike a wet reckless, a charge of dry reckless driving does not involve alcohol. This charge is levied under California Vehicle Code Section 23103. Penalties upon conviction may include probation, fines and possible jail time.
It will appear on your record as a past reckless driving charge if you are arrested for DUI in the future. Unlike the wet reckless, a dry reckless charge cannot be used against you as a prior DUI charge can. For this reason, DUI attorneys push for this plea bargain, which is often seen as a better option than a wet reckless charge.
Facing a reckless driving charge can be a very traumatic experience, but you can turn the tide in your favor by employing the services of a trained and qualified attorney. At Fresno Law Men, we have had years of experience handling all sorts of reckless driving and DUI cases and are in the best position to help you win the case.
Remember, the DMV Madera CA has very strict regulations, and if you find yourself charged with reckless driving, contact us straight away so we can begin helping you from the get-go!