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Convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) are notoriously expensive, especially in California where court fines and fees can add up to thousands of dollars over the base price of the ticket. An experienced DUI lawyer can negotiate on your behalf and potentially lower the cost of your charges. Can DUI be reduced to reckless driving? These common strategies are often used to reduce DUI fees.
Can DUI be reduced? Often, an attorney will seek a plea bargain for a lesser charge to reduce your DUI penalties. Common lesser charges include a so-called “wet reckless” (reckless driving that involved alcohol), “dry reckless” or speeding.
Is reckless driving worse than DUI? Not when it comes to costs. Most reckless driving offenses do not carry jail time and have lower fees, less impact on auto insurance costs and no required license suspension. However, a wet reckless may still count as a prior DUI offense if you are charged with DUI again within 10 years in California.
A dry reckless offense will not count as a prior DUI. It’s also less likely to carry a license suspension or require installation of an ignition interlock device, both possibilities if you plead guilty to a wet reckless. However, it may result in points added to your driving record. A lawyer for reckless driving may be able to negotiate these charges down.
Although a speeding ticket is costly, it is less expensive than a DUI. When the case for prosecuting a DUI is weak, an attorney may argue for minor charges. These can include a charge for public drunkenness, drinking in a vehicle or other traffic infractions.
Both wet and dry recklessness charges carry a mandatory minimum fine of $145, compared to a mandatory minimum of $390 for a DUI. Talk to an attorney today if you have been charged with DUI and are concerned about the cost of this conviction.