When Should I Plead Wet Reckless in Nebraska?
After being arrested for driving under the influence, you may be looking to keep out of jail, get your license back, and return to your normal life. Here in Nebraska, DUI defendants can plead to lesser charges to avoid the stress of a trial, but you should be aware of all of your options before agreeing to anything a district attorney offers, including a wet reckless plea.
What Is a Wet Reckless Plea?
It is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system, but most people only face DUI charges when they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. The 0.08% limit allows police officers to automatically assume the defendant was intoxicated. While the prosecution may still pursue DUI charges if you had less than 0.08%, it may be harder to prove intoxication in court.
Because of this, district attorneys sometimes allow defendants to plead to lesser charges rather than forcing them into contentious trials. A wet reckless plea is essentially a reckless driving charge involving alcohol.
Under Nebraska Revised Statute 60-6,213, “Any person who drives any motor vehicle in such a manner as to indicate an indifferent or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property shall be guilty of reckless driving.” However, there is also a worse crime called “willful reckless driving,” defined by the driver’s intent – did he or she willingly disregard the safety of persons and property? A good lawyer can do a lot in this gray area to reduce your offense in the eyes of the law.
When Can I Plead Wet Reckless?
A wet reckless plea is only an option for first-time offenders and in cases where the prosecution has a weaker case. For example, the defendant had a BAC of less than 0.08%, the officer conducted an illegal stop, or the alcohol testing was poorly handled. Defendants who have a history of drug or alcohol abuse may also be eligible if they agree to substance abuse classes.
Should I Take the Deal?
If this is your first DUI, being convicted will punish you with:
- A maximum of 60 days in county jail;
- A maximum $500 fine; and/or
- A mandatory license suspension.
However, with a wet reckless plea, your penalties can be reduced drastically, without jail time or mandatory license suspensions.
While a wet reckless plea is a useful tool after a DUI arrest, it is not your only option. A skilled Omaha criminal defense attorney may be able to get your charges dropped altogether by building a strong case. At Bottlinger Law L.L.C., we can dig into the details of your case, investigate the nature of your arrest, and advocate for the best possible outcome. If you or someone you love was arrested for a DUI in Omaha, reach out to us at (402) 505-8234.
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