How likely is it for a DUI or DWI to get reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving?

Information on How to Have a DUI or DWI Charge Reduced

DUI Reduced to Lesser OffenseDriving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charges are very serious and often carry serious consequences that can follow the individual for the rest of their lives. Because of this, many individual seek to have their drunk or drugged driving case dismissed or, at the very least, have the charge reduced to something less serious. The only way of having charges get dropped is for the state prosecutor to amend the offense to reflect a new, completely different charge with its own consequences.

Many driver’s are curious to know about whether or not there are any methods for “how can I get a DUI dropped to a less serious offense?” To help answer this question, we have outlined below the 13 best proven ways of how DUI & DWI charges can get lowered to a reckless driving offense, or get dismissed entirely in court under what the current new laws are. We can also let a driver know how much their own DUI case should cost, before hiring or being overcharged by a lawyer.

  1. How Can A DUI Or DWI Charge Be Reduced?
  2. Benefits Of Having a DUI Offense Dropped
  3. Difference Between A Dry Reckless & Wet Reckless
  4. Importance Of Hiring A Lawyer For Getting A Charge Dropped
  5. What Happens If I Plead Guilty Or Refused The Breath Test?
  6. Ways How To Get Driving Under The Influence Charges Dismissed
  7. How Can I Know If The Drunk or Drugged Driving Case Can Be Proven In Court?
  8. Why Breathalyzer Test Results May Not Be Accurate
  9. Other Common Examples Of DUI Charges Being Dismissed
  10. How Likely Is It That The Charges Can Be Reduced?
  11. Can I Negotiate A Plea For A DUI Case Without A Lawyer?
  12. What Are The Consequences For Wet Reckless?
  13. What States Offer A Wet Reckless Charge?

1. How Can a DUI or DWI Charge be Reduced?

The only way for a charge of DUI or DWI to be reduced is for the state prosecutor to drop the DUI charges against the individual and charge them with a new, lesser offense. This must be done before the prosecutor presents the case against the individual during a court hearing in front of a judge. Depending on the circumstances that surround the case, the driver’s attorney may feel that a plea bargain is a better option or a possibility for their client and they will approach the prosecutor for a deal.

DUI Attorneys will attempt to negotiate a plea bargain if they feel the state does not have enough evidence against the client for the Driving Under the Influence charge, or if they think the evidence the prosecution does have is questionable. Instead of having the case dismissed, prosecutors would much rather be able to charge the individual with a lesser crime. As part of the plea bargain, the prosecutor may require the individual to pay certain fees, do community service, or enroll in an alcohol education program.

When we can review an arrest for which defense option will work best in enough time before your next court date, it increases the chances of the charges getting dropped and avoiding a license suspension at the DMV hearing that happens first.

Here’s How to Use Your Arrest Info For Techniques to Drop a DUI

We made a free on-page arrest checklist for you that will help you put strategies into action for dismissing your case.

It outlines — step-by-step — exactly how to use certain techniques based on your own arrest, that can avoid an Ignition Interlock and suspended license.

Here’s where you can download the checklist and see which defense to use that applies to your own specific type of DUI charge situation.

2. What are the Benefits of Having a DUI Charge Dropped?

DUI and/or DWI offense charges are very serious and carry very serious consequences both immediately after being convicted and well into the individual’s future. Having a drunk or drugged driving under the influence charge on an individual’s criminal record makes many aspects of their life more difficult than if they did not have the charge. Often, having these types of convictions can make it difficult for an individual to keep their current employment and even find future employment, especially if their job includes driving.

Additionally, having a criminal record with a DUI conviction can make it difficult for an individual to be able to purchase car insurance they can afford or be able to purchase insurance at all. These long term effects are in addition to the immediate consequences an individual will face when they are convicted, even as a first-time offender. Some of these immediate penalties include losing their license for a period of time, having to pay high fines, and facing the possibility of having to spend time in jail.

Getting a DUI offense dropped to reckless driving or wet-reckless charges call for much much lighter penalties and are less serious charges to have on an individual’s criminal record. Fines are often much lower, jail time is less of a possibility, and the suspension or revocation of the license is not likely. Pleading to lesser charges makes it possible for the individual to pay the consequences without having to put their lives on hold or feel the repercussions of their actions into their future.

3. What is the Difference between Dry Reckless and Wet Reckless?

When an attorney is attempting to negotiate a deal to have their client’s DUI offense reduced, there are two different reckless driving charges that may be on the table – wet reckless and dry reckless or regular reckless driving. It is important to keep in mind that not every state offers this deal as a lesser offense to driving under the influence. Knowing the differences between a wet reckless, reckless driving, and a drunk or drugged driving charge is important, especially when it comes to the penalties an individual may face now and in the future.

The definition of “wet reckless” is being charged with reckless driving involving alcohol. This offense is more serious than reckless driving but less serious than a Driving Under the Influence charge. Wet reckless, unlike DUI or DWI, is not something an individual can get arrested for. Individuals who are arrested for drunk or drugged driving can have their charges reduced to wet reckless, especially if they have a good attorney and/or the prosecution believes there are some weaknesses in the case against the arrested driver. It is important to keep in mind that pleading down to this lower offense is not always an option.

Wet reckless is most often offered to those individuals who are being charged with their first DUI or DWI offense. The likelihood an individual will be offered a this less serious charge after their second or third offense is very slim. Even though the chances of being offered a plea bargain as a repeat offender is slim, if a driver is able to secure this lesser plea deal, it is very beneficial for them. A wet reckless does not carry mandatory sentencing enhancements for repeat offenders, meaning lower fines and less jail time.

4. How important is it to hire a lawyer for getting my DUI charge Dropped?

Every driver who has been arrested on a drinking and driving charge has the freedom of choice how to handle the case they feel is best. The crucial decision of whether or not should you hire a lawyer for a DUI is up to the individual who is charged with the driving under the influence offense.

However, when a person hesitates too long after an arrest in taking action for how to fight the charges so they can get reduced, dropped, or ultimately dismissed – this delay in taking defense action can result in negative consequences in court. This is because a DUI case will move forward quickly with many costs and penalties taking effect not long after getting arrested. There are strict time limits on an attorney being able to use certain strategies which can help provide the best chances of success at getting charges lowered to a less serious offense.

Depending on the facts of a drunk or drugged driving case, being able to plea to a lesser offense such as reckless driving could be the best option for a person. This is because this reduced charge will carry far less serious long-term costs and penalties than a DUI, including the possibility of getting the offense expunged at a later date and time. However it is very important to realize that these decisions will need to be made soon when fighting a case.

This is why it is essential to obtain proper legal advice and help at the earliest possible time, so that a local lawyer can find the best course of action and defense to outline for what to do next. The most important thing a driver in this situation needs to remember is to have their arrest details reviewed online with us by a local lawyer as soon as possible.

This necessary first step should be done regardless of a person’s intended plea or course of action, so that a driver can fully understand all of the consequences of any decision and whether there is any way of how to reduce the charges, including getting a driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs offense case dropped entirely.

5. What happens if I were to plead guilty to a DUI or if I refused the breath or blood test?

One mistake many people falsely assume, is that that a DUI or DWI charge is not a criminal offense, but less serious traffic offense instead – almost like an expensive ticket. While it may be true there may not be the same level of seriousness as other types of criminal offenses, both of these driving while intoxicated offense charges will have very serious penalties which can result in consequences just as costly as other types of severe criminal offenses.

Whether a person has been charged with DUI or even refusing to take the breath or blood test, both of these are considered a criminal offense and if a driver gets convicted of the charges, they will have a permanent criminal record for life. However being able to have the arrest reviewed online with us in enough time, may prevent that outcome from ever happening.

What is most important for every person contemplating what they want to do for fighting DUI charges or deciding to plead guilty, is that a guilty plea or conviction will carry very expensive and harsh consequences on a person’s life and work. One of the first most significant things to happen for most drivers is the having a suspended license for a minimum length of time of 6 months to 2 years on average, even for a 1st time offense.

The other crucial impact to a person’s life if they are allowed a restricted driver’s license, is having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed onto any car they will be driving. This can often create a difficult situation for a person’s work, since any company car or vehicle they will be driving must have the DUI Interlock device put onto it as well.

Additionally, car insurance rates can triple after a conviction for driving under the influence. This higher cost will last an for average of 5 years afterwards before it starts to reduce. This is due to the fact that most auto insurance companies will often refuse to cover a driver with a DUI or DWI offense on their record, which results in forcing that person to pay for high-risk coverage.

6. Ways How to Get Driving Under The Influence Charges Dismissed or Reduced

No matter what a person’s own DUI or DWI offense situation is or how apparent a guilty plea may seem inevitable at first, we want you to know that these charges can be reduced or dismissed altogether when proper legal help is obtained in enough time to fight the case properly. Sometimes getting a charge lowered to something such as reckless driving can make all the difference in minimizing the severity of the outcome, and how long the consequences will affect a person’s life vs. what will happen with a driving under the influence offense conviction otherwise.

It is not uncommon for people who have never had been in trouble with the law or been arrested for drunk or drugged driving to think that these type of cases are impossible to beat or get dropped. The fact is, nothing could be further from the truth. This is because skilled and local DUI and DWI lawyers reviews arrest details for case strengths and weaknesses, will know all of the latest and most effective ways in proving the prosecution attorney’s case wrong, which could then very well result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges entirely in court.

Given the fact of how often the laws and penalties are changing in this field, all types of DUI related charges involve some of the most technical criminal charges to prove successfully. After a lawyer can review a driver’s arrest information online with us, the can then assess how to work the legal system in a driver’s favor and obtain the best possible results for a full case acquittal in court.

We want to remind anyone who is feeling discouraged to not give up hope, even when a person may have failed a breath or blood test over the legal alcohol limit of .08 BAC. It is also vital to never plead guilty to a DUI charge, until first having the chance of speaking to an attorney with us in the area from where a driver will be going to court at. The best chances of getting DUI dismissed for a clear record is when we can analyze the arrest specifics as to what happened in enough time to help before the pending court dates take place, and negative costs/consequences take effect.

7. How Can I know if the drunk or drugged driving case be proven in court?

Every driver arrested for drunk or drugged driving needs to keep in mind, that in court they are innocent until proven guilty. It is the duty of the prosecution lawyer to prove each and every part of the DUI charges against a person. When the prosecution cannot do so because of improperly collected evidence or other crucial facts about the arrest details, then the charges against a person must be dismissed or dropped.

Can you be charged with DUI without evidence such as the BAC or field sobriety test results? Given how easily the new laws are set up in every state to arrest a driver for operating a vehicle under the influence, a person can be charged and even convicted for what is called a DUI refusal offense. This violation now carries nearly all the same penalties and costs as a typical drunk or drugged driving conviction would. However there are often many strong defenses to a BAC test refusal case with little to no solid evidence, when we can assess the arrest specifics in time to dispute the police report account of what happened.

Please take advantage of having a local lawyer help review and evaluate the case online, so they can determine what the best course of action is for potential ways how to get a driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs case dropped or lowered to a less serious offense, whenever it is possible.

8. Why Breathalyzer Test Results May Not Be Accurate

While failing a roadside breath or police station Breathalyzer test may seem like a DUI case against a driver will be easy for the prosecution attorney to prove, this is often not case of what happens if proper legal help is obtained .

There are many factors that can lead to false or inaccurate roadside DUI breath test or police station Breathalyzer readings, including:

  • Police officer mistakes.
  • Breath test machine equipment that is faulty or not maintained properly.
  • There are certain medical issues such as acid reflux that can cause false positive blood alcohol content (BAC) readings.

Even in certain DUI cases when the breath test results are accurate, the test can only show a person’s blood alcohol content level at the exact time the test was given. What the importance of this is, a driver could have been under the legal alcohol limit of .08 blood alcohol content at the time of driving, and not necessarily over the legal limit at the later time the Breathalyzer test was administered.

Once a person can have their own unique DUI arrest situation examined online with us by a skilled & local lawyer, they will then know how to find out if the results of a Breathalyzer or even a blood test is not reliable evidence. This is often a very successful strategy to getting DUI and DWI charges reduced to a less serious offense, or even dropped altogether in many of these types of cases that hinge upon BAC test results and how they were conducted.

9. What are some other common examples of driving under the influence charges being dismissed?

Many drivers feel hopeless after DUI arrests and assume not much can be done to get a case dropped. The fact is, there are many ways based on a driver’s own individual arrest details that a experienced criminal DUI or DWI lawyer could be able to have the charges against a driver lowered or even get dismissed in court.

The following are 2 common examples of ways in which a local attorney online with us could be able to help accomplish this outcome.

  1. First, the prosecution attorney might very well be basing their entire case on certain pieces of breath or blood test evidence, for example. After being able to review a person’s arrest details, a lawyer might then be able to prove that the DUI tests and results against a driver was not collected properly under the law and should be suppressed in court as evidence.
  2. The 2nd common example, is that a local attorney with us could many times be able to prove that the signs claimed by the arresting police officer of a driver being under the influence was not by drugs, alcohol, or even prescribed medicine. Since there are no set number of defenses for how to get the charges dropped to a lesser offense, before making the choice plead guilty, please take advantage of having the arrest analyzed online with us to see what defenses will apply your own set of circumstances and case.

When there is any way for the charges against a driver to be dismissed, the local driving under the influence lawyer reviewing the arrest details will have the expertise with the new laws to be able to find it quickly.

10. How likely is it that charges in a DUI case can actually get reduced?

Like most court cases, when fighting some DUI and DWI offense cases, the most effective thing a lawyer can do for a person is to negotiate a plea to a lesser offense that is not as serious and has reduced penalties, which is also referred to as a plea bargain. For how this works – when a lawyer is in the process of plea-bargaining a drunk or drugged driving case, the prosecution attorney will agree to reduce the charges against a driver.

However in return for dropping a DUI arrest to a less serious offense, a driver will then agree to enter a guilty plea to the lesser charges in court. It is important to realize that the prosecution will not easily agree to reduce driving under the influence charges, even for a first-time offense. This is because since the new laws for both drunk and drugged driving have increased in severity in every state in the country, many prosecution attorneys are pressured into pursuing all of these type of cases for a full conviction under the costly new consequences.

This is why the prosecutor will need a strong reason to lessen the charges, and where a local DUI defense lawyer will know how to accomplish this after assessing the arrest details, whenever the possibility exists. A skilled lawyer will know how to find the weaknesses in the case the prosecution has, and therefore will open them up to the consideration of plea bargain negotiations much more likely, which can in turn can significantly reduce the charges against a driver from the serious offense of what they were originally facing.

11. Can I negotiate with the prosecutor for my DUI case without a lawyer?

When it comes to the best chances of success in any court case, and especially given the complexity and serious penalties of a DUI offense case – it is not a wise idea to attempt to talk with or try and negotiate a plea bargain without a lawyer to advise a person in what to do next. This is especially important because if there is any hope of being able to have a DUI or DWI lowered with a plea bargain to a reduced offense, there will likely be only the one chance to have this happen.

So when a driver who is charged with a drunk or drugged driving offense tries to negotiate a plea bargain without a lawyer to help them, the prosecutor attorney will know right away that a person is negotiating from a weak standpoint. When a person fighting this charge tries to negotiate without an attorney to review any potential plea offer, it increases the likelihood of getting an offer that is far less ideal than what could have been obtained with the proper legal counsel to help do it properly and more effectively.

An experienced local criminal lawyer with us helps because they will explain in simple and straight-forward terms of what the latest new laws and procedures are. They will also be able to help answer all questions about any potential penalties such as fines, how long the DUI license suspension length of time will be, and whether or not having to get an Ignition Interlock device is a possibility. After being able to review the arrest scenario and discuss the available options for DUI defense with a driver, the local lawyer can then be in the best position to start any plea bargaining to a lesser offense with skill and precision.

When getting a plea bargain is in a driver’s best interest and the charges will be reduced from a DUI offense, this will get a person the best outcome with less serious penalties and costs overall.

12. What are the Consequences for Wet Reckless?

The penalties for a wet reckless charge as very similar to those for a DUI but they are much less severe. Under wet reckless, individuals can be required to take alcohol education courses, pay fines, be sentenced to jail time and have their licenses suspended.

Even though the consequences are almost the same, those charged with wet reckless will have lower fines, less jail time and a shorter license suspension period than those changes with traditional DUI or DWI. It should be noted, however, that anyone arrested for another drinking and driving offense after accepting a wet reckless plea may face 2nd offense penalties (as many states will consider the wet reckless plea a first-time drunk driving offense for purposes of sentencing).

13. What States offer a Wet Reckless Charge?

It is important to keep I mind that not all states permit prosecutors to participate in plea bargaining, for Driving Under the Influence charges or any other criminal charge. This means that, depending on which state the individual’s arrest occurred, their attorney may not be able to drop an individual’s drunk or drugged driving charge to a wet reckless charge.

While most states do allow plea bargains, there are over a dozen U.S. states that do not permit plea bargaining in the case of driving under the influence of alcohol or drug charges and/or other criminal offenses. The states that do allow a DUI and DWI case to be reduced down to wet reckless driving charges include:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

The best defensive way how to maximize the chances to get DUI charges dropped entirely for an acquittal in court, is knowing case-specific strategies to fight every aspect of the arrest information and BAC test results evidence. Taking this action to help clear a DUI or DWI offense must also happen early as possible in a case, since significant legal expenses and mandatory consequences will begin to take effect soon under how the new law is set up for penalties.

Taryn J. White

About Taryn J. White

Taryn J. White is a research specialist and DUI law news reporter on what to do when you get a DUI, the best methods used for fighting a case, and how to get DUI help. Her current mission and accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence, DUI, and DWI arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible results and outcome. In today’s era of online information and social media defining a person’s identity, one of her primary goals is to help inform people about the truth of the burden a lifetime of social stigma damage and career devastation a DUI arrest charge will carry, especially if not properly handled by the best professional legal counsel from the beginning of a DUI case. Since the seriousness of a person’s reputation and livelihood is at stake, it is for this essential reason that people be informed of their options based on their unique arrest and circumstances, and why Taryn has helped provide the free online assistance people need by easily having their questions and concerns answered directly through this website with a skilled DUI attorney from their area.

1 thought on “How likely is it for a DUI or DWI to get reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving?

  1. I was arrested on 11/2/2017 for DWI was not driving my jeep at the time of arrest I was sitting inside of my jeep on the side of a residential road trying to sleep off the effects of having a few too many beers with a friend that had come from out of town, when i was awaken by police officers and asked to get out of my vehicle.

    I was never asked for my license or proof of insurance just get out of the vehicle and then they asked me had i been drinking and how much i said several beers and then they started to give me some tests and eventually i was arrested and transported to a county jail where i was given other tests and locked up until my girlfriend came and got me out the next day.

    I was given a phone hearing and after that my license was suspended even before my court date had even came, I thought that you were supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty. I hope my chances are good of getting DWI reduced to reckless driving or the case dismissed in court.

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