Miami Valley Law Blog

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

About “Wet Reckless” Charges in Ohio

Most people understand that the police aggressively enforce drunk driving laws. In addition, most people are familiar with the crime of driving under the influence (“DUI”), which is called operating a vehicle impaired (“OVI”) in Ohio. Lesser known, however, is the crime known as a “wet reckless,” which can be a way to avoid a DUI/OVI conviction. If you are facing charges for drinking and driving in Ohio, please review the information below, and contact a DUI/OVI attorney as soon as possible for additional guidance. 

What is a wet reckless?

A wet reckless is a plea agreement in which a defendant pleads guilty to reckless driving in order to avoid a DUI charge. Generally, first-time DUI offenders are the most likely to be offered a wet reckless plea. However, in order for this option to be available, a defendant's blood alcohol content at the time of arrest must have been slightly above or below .08%. If it is higher than this, it is unlikely that the prosecution will offer the defendant a wet reckless plea unless they have a weak case to begin with. Finally, a defendant is unlikely to be offered a wet reckless plea if he or she caused a car accident that resulted in personal injury or property damage.

Penalties for a DUI/OVI

First-time DUI offenders in Ohio face the following potential penalties:

  • Three days in jail or completion of a driving course
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fines up to $1,075
  • Suspension of one's driver license for up to three years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device

Wet Reckless Penalties 

The following are potential wet reckless penalties in Ohio:

  • Defendants with no prior traffic convictions will likely receive a $100 fine.
  • Defendants with one prior traffic conviction within the previous year will be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor, sentenced to up to 30 days in jail, and required to pay up to $250 in fines.
  • Defendants with two prior convictions within the previous year will be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor, sentenced to up to 60 days in jail, and be required to pay up to $500 in fines.

Ohio Criminal Defense Attorneys  

DUI/OVI charges in Ohio are serious business. In fact, a DUI/OVI conviction can seriously affect your life. Therefore, if you have been arrested for or charged with a DUI/OVI in Ohio, you need an experienced DUI/OVI attorney on your side. At Cox Keller Lusardi, our aggressive Ohio DUI/OVI attorneys will diligently represent you in all steps of the Ohio criminal justice process, working hard to have your charges dismissed or reduced. At Cox Keller Lusardi, we regularly represent Ohio residents who have been convicted of or charged with drunk driving crimes, including DUI/OVI. So, if you are facing DUI/OVI charges in Ohio, please contact us as soon as possible for a consultation.   

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