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Wet Reckless

The phrase “wet reckless” is used to describe a reckless driving offense involving alcoholic beverages. It is most commonly the result of an alleged offender pleading guilty to charges reduced from underlying driving under the influence (DUI) offenses. A wet reckless conviction often results in penalties that are far less severe than those imposed for DUI convictions.

Not all people will be offered the opportunity to have their drunk driving charges reduced. A wet reckless reduction is more common for cases involving alleged first-time offenders. In many cases, a prosecutor will extend an offer to have DUI charges reduced when there is a lack of evidence or there are concerns about the evidence surrounding an alleged offender’s arrest.

Attorney for Wet Reckless Arrests in West Palm Beach, FL

If you were arrested for drunk driving anywhere in South Florida, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. aggressively defends clients accused of DUI crimes in such communities throughout Broward County, Palm Beach County, and Miami-Dade County as Royal Palm Beach, Riviera Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Greenacres, Lake Worth, and several others.

West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyers Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell will investigate all of the evidence against you and fight to possibly get the criminal charges reduced or maybe even dismissed altogether.

Call (561) 557-8686 today to have our attorneys review your case and help you understand all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.


Palm Beach County Wet Reckless Information Center


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Reasons DUI Charges Get Reduced to Wet Reckless in Florida

Chapter 28.1 of the Florida Standard Jury Instructions establishes that the State must prove the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to prove the crime of DUI:

  • The alleged offender drove or was in actual physical control of a vehicle; and
  • While driving or in actual physical control of the vehicle, the alleged offender was under the influence of alcoholic beverages, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired; or had a blood or breath-alcohol level of 0.08 or more grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath.

A prosecutor may be more likely to offer an alleged offender wet reckless charges to plead guilty to when it appears that certain factors relating to the arrest will be difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. Some of the types of issues that can lead to DUI charges being reduced include, but are not limited to:

  • Unlawful traffic stop;
  • Alleged offender’s BAC was less than 0.08;
  • Alleged offender did not submit to chemical testing;
  • Improperly administered tests;
  • Improperly calibrated breath test device; or
  • Dashboard camera video footage conflicts with the arresting officer’s observations in the police report.

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West Palm Beach Wet Reckless Penalties

In most cases, first DUI convictions are punishable by:

  • Up to six months in jail;
  • Fine of up to $1,000;
  • Mandatory 50 hours of community service;
  • Completion of a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation.

A first DUI offense is usually a first-degree misdemeanor, but reckless driving is a second-degree misdemeanor offense. Under Florida Statute § 316.192(5), a wet reckless offense carries the following possible punishments:

  • Up to 90 days in jail;
  • Fine of up to $500; and
  • Completion of a DUI program substance abuse education course and evaluation.

A conviction for wet reckless can result in a four points penalty on an individual’s Florida driving record. If the court agrees to withhold adjudication, however, no points will be added. If adjudication is withheld, the alleged offender will also be able to have his or her criminal record sealed.

While a conviction for a wet reckless offense is not the same as a DUI on a person’s criminal record, the wet reckless charge does count as a previous DUI offense if the person is arrested for any subsequent drunk driving offense.


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Wet Reckless Resources in Florida

Licensed DUI Programs in Florida | Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) — On this section of the FLHSMV website, you can view a complete listing of all licensed DUI programs statewide. The two types of educational courses offered are Level I for first-time offenders and Level II for individuals with multiple offenses. Level I involves a minimum of 12 hours of classroom instruction while Level II consists of a minimum of 21 hours of classroom time.

Florida Statute § 316.192 — You can view the full text of the Florida Statute for reckless driving. Reckless driving offenses involving the use of alcohol, chemical substances, or controlled substances are addressed under subsection (5). The statute also covers what is required of convicted persons as well as the penalties for failure to comply with court requirements.


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Find a Wet Reckless Defense Lawyer in West Palm Beach, FL

After an arrest for DUI anywhere in Palm Beach County or the surrounding areas in South Florida? You will want to contact Meltzer & Bell, P.A. as soon as possible for help determining whether you might be able to have your criminal charges reduced to a wet reckless driving offense.

Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell are experienced criminal defense attorneys in West Palm Beach who represent residents of and visitors to Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, and many other surrounding areas of Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.

You can have our lawyers provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (561) 557-8686 or fill out an online form to receive a free initial consultation.

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