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  • Writer's pictureJustin Sparks

How to Get a DUI Dropped to Reckless Driving

The state of Texas does not treat DUI convictions lightly. As a result, a DUI conviction can have serious life-altering consequences. With this in mind, it's critical to fight the charge in order to obtain a reduced penalty, a reduced term, or a plea bargain.

One of the most typical inquiries firms get when someone comes to them with a DUI charge is, "Can you get a DUI reduced to reckless driving?" The answer is yes. In many circumstances, a plea agreement can result in a DUI being reduced to a reckless driving charge.

The best approach to get a DUI reduced to reckless driving is to seek the assistance of an expert DUI lawyer. By agreeing to a plea bargain, a DUI criminal defense lawyer can assist anyone in fighting for their rights. Plea deals involve the courts dropping specific accusations in return for a guilty plea to a lower charge. Also, there are instances the defendant pleads not guilty to a DUI.

DUI Penalties

DUI Penalties

In Texas, the penalties for a DUI conviction are fairly harsh. The minimum and maximum penalties are determined by whether or not an individual has had any prior convictions. A first DWI conviction carries a fine of between $250 and $2,500, as well as a one-year license suspension.

A second DWI violation carries a required minimum fine of $500, a three-year driver license suspension, and up to one year in prison. The consequences get worse from there, with a third DWI resulting in an indefinite driver's license suspension and a Class Six felony charge. A one-year license suspension can have a major impact on anyone's life in a variety of ways.

Furthermore, a DWI conviction can hinder a person's ability to rent a property or obtain a mortgage, in addition to limiting one's ability to commute to work and earn a living. Because of these terrible consequences, it's important to understand how to have a DUI reduced to reckless driving.

Getting a DUI Reduced to a Reckless Driving Conviction

Retaining the services of an expert DUI attorney in Fort Worth TX is the most efficient way of having a DUI reduced to a reckless driving charge. A DUI attorney will examine the facts and circumstances of the individual's case to determine whether or not a DUI charge is appropriate.

If the individual has no prior criminal convictions, no prior DUIs, and a relatively low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the traffic stop, their chances of getting a reduction to reckless driving can increase. In some circumstances, treatment for alcoholism helps in the reduction of a Texas DWI charge. Even if the individual only uses one of these factors in their case, it can help.

A DUI lawyer has the essential negotiation skills and experience to successfully navigate the plea bargaining procedure in DUI cases. Because DUIs are a unique combination of traffic and criminal law, traffic attorneys who do not generally handle DUI matters are unable to negotiate as successfully.

It cannot be emphasized enough as to how important it is to hire an expert DUI attorney if someone wants to reduce their DUI to reckless driving charges. Additionally, it depends entirely on the facts and circumstances of their case.

What Is a Charge of Wet Reckless Driving?

A charge of alcohol-related reckless driving, commonly known as "wet reckless," has fewer penalties than a normal DUI. Sparks Law Firm's attorneys may be able to negotiate a plea to a wet reckless charge in some cases, but this will depend on the circumstances of an individual's arrest.

What Factors Are Considered to Get a Wet Reckless Charge?

Individuals may find it challenging to decrease a DUI charge to a wet reckless DUI offense on their own. Sparks Law Firm's criminal defense team, on the other hand, is aware of the circumstances that can persuade a prosecutor to accept a plea bargain in exchange for a sentence reduction.

The following are some of the determining factors:

  • Whether the individual was charged with DUI for the first time or had previous offenses,

  • If an individual's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .08 percent or greater at the time of their arrest,

  • Whether their arrest resulted from a car collision that resulted in injuries or property damage

  • Whether the individual has a criminal or traffic record,

  • Whether the individual is facing further charges as a result of their arrest, such as breaking open container laws or resisting a police officer's arrest.

Why Would Someone Want to Be Arrested with a Wet Reckless Charge?

The implications of a wet reckless offense are less severe than those of a DUI. As many may know, a DUI conviction can result in the suspension of a person's driver's license, as well as jail time and fines. It can also have an impact on their personal life, as it can:

  • Make a blemish on an individual's driving record for the rest of their life

  • Making it harder for them to find work or purchase a home

  • Change their social status or even ruin personal relationships

  • If an individual is convicted of a DUI crime, they may be restricted from voting or face new challenges in regaining their voting rights.

The Repercussions of a Wet Reckless Charge

Although a charge of drunk driving is less serious, there are still consequences. In some situations, a wet reckless charge can help an individual avoid losing their driver's license, or their insurance premiums won't rise as high as they would if they were charged with a DUI.

A criminal defense lawyer from Sparks Law Firm may be able to negotiate lesser penalties, such as:

  • A $200 minimum fine

  • Possibility (though unlikely) up to 90 days in prison

  • Four points on their driving record

  • A six-month license suspension is possible, for a first offense

  • Treatment or alcohol education

How Does a DUI Lawyer Approach a Wet Reckless Deal?

Before pursuing a plea bargain, DUI attorneys will develop a case. They may apply the following strategies:

  • Whether or not the arrest was legal

  • Whether or not the traffic stop was legal

  • Analyzing breathalyzer/blood test results (Learn about how many DUI before breathalyzer in car)

  • Challenging errors made by the police

  • Moving to dismiss statements an individual made if they were not aware of their rights

  • Providing evidence of an explanation other than DUI

How the System Works – The Judge Can’t Reduce a DUI!

It's crucial to evaluate the duties of each party to gain a better understanding of how the process works:

  • The police officer's responsibility is to establish "probable cause" and then make an arrest.

  • The prosecutor's job is to achieve a conviction. He is compelled to "seek justice," to put it another way.

  • His responsibilities include a thorough examination of the police officer's investigation, as well as a formal filing decision on the most appropriate offense based on the facts and circumstances of each case.

  • It is the job of a DUI defense attorney to get the best possible result for his client. Persuading the prosecutor to reduce the charge from a DUI to Reckless Driving could be part of this attempt.

  • The Judge's function is to preside over the criminal court procedures associated with the prosecutor's ultimate charge. He must be equally fair to both the defense and prosecution in that role.

Thus, contrary to popular belief, the Judge does not have the ability or discretion to reduce anyone's DUI charge to Reckless Driving. Only the prosecutor has the legal authority to change the charge. As a result, having a counsel who can effectively negotiate with the prosecutor when pursuing a DUI reduction is important.

How to Get a DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving

An expert DUI defense attorney in Texas can extensively research the facts and circumstances surrounding an individual's DUI arrest to expose every conceivable flaw in the prosecutor's case.

A lawyer may also be able to make motions in court to suppress or limit the admissibility of evidence. This can sometimes weaken the state's case even further, putting the individual in a better negotiation position to get the Texas DWI charge reduced.

If Spark's office determines that a client's case is a strong choice for a reduction following a comprehensive examination, the company will send detailed communication to the prosecutor assigned to the individual's case at the Texas County State Attorney's Office.

  • It is important to list all of the defects and flaws in the state's case.

  • The facts about the individual's driving and how they appear on film are important to address.

  • Any relevant case law, legal arguments, procedural issues, and suppression issues impacting the admissibility of evidence in their case must be exploited.

  • A thorough examination of the breath test machine, including its maintenance and calibration, could improve the individual's bargaining position.

  • A public record's request that examines the investigating law enforcement officer's history, integrity, and past performance can cause the prosecutor's faith in his own witness' testimony to be shaken.

  • Providing sworn affidavits from the individual's passenger or other witnesses attesting to their sobriety and ability to safely operate the motor vehicle;

  • Highlighting any personal background information that could assist in demonstrating that the prosecutor's decision to amend their charge to reckless driving is fair and equitable.

A law firm's reduction letter also acts as a permanent document that supports the decision of the case assigned prosecutor to decrease the charge if the file is later scrutinized by a prosecutor's supervisor. Spark's Law Firm knows from experience as former state prosecutors that a detailed written argument for reduction can be a powerful instrument for getting the best possible result.

Why Would the Prosecutor Want to Reduce a DUI Charge Down to Reckless Driving?

DUI charges that are reduced to reckless driving frequently result in the same sanctions or punishments as DUI charges. To put it another way, an individual may still be required to attend DUI school, pay a fine, undergo alcohol tests, and complete community service hours. However, they would avoid an official DUI conviction in exchange. The prosecutor profits because he avoids the chance of an acquittal if the DUI case goes to trial.

This plea deal (i.e., a charge reduction in exchange for DUI-style penalties) is frequently seen as a fair "middle ground." In other words, if an individual's drunk driving charges are reduced, they will escape the stigma associated with a DUI conviction.

However, the prosecution is confident that the individual will receive valuable education on the dangers of drinking and driving. He'd also have confirmation that the individual doesn't have any addiction issues that could lead to another DUI arrest in the future.

What Are the Chances of Getting a DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving?

What Are the Chances of Getting a DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving?

Despite public interest groups' lobbying, some prosecutors will downgrade a DUI to reckless driving for the right person in the right situation.

The ideal candidate will possess the following qualities:

  • There is no past Texas criminal record;

  • A blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.8 percent;

  • a clean or virtually clean driving record;

  • acted appropriately with the police;

  • and not being involved in an accident.

People must keep in mind that each circumstance is unique. When it comes to negotiating a plea deal for reckless driving, a professional DUI defense lawyer knows how to play to an individual's strengths.

A legal issue that makes it difficult for the prosecutor to reduce a DUI in the first place would be even more important than the above factors.

This is why an individual will need an aggressive defense counsel who will examine all of the evidence and recordings to determine whether the Commonwealth's case has any fatal flaws.

Contacting a Lawyer

An individual should contact Spark's Law Firm if they are facing a DUI arrest and want to reduce it to reckless driving. The firm has a lot of experience fighting traffic violations to protect its clients' rights. Furthermore, one of Spark's key focus areas is defending DUI charges.

The attorneys have a lot of experience with DUI reductions and can tell if an individual will qualify or not. People may call (817) 334-0300 for a FREE case evaluation and experience a one-of-a-kind attorney-client relationship.


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