DUI-Related Reductions

If you've been charged with DUI in California, you could be looking at serious penalties. However, with experienced Torrance DUI attorneys like those in Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, by your side some (maybe even all) of the possible penalties can be avoided. Below are some examples of possible reductions that we can achieve in your DUI case.

WET RECKLESS

What Is A 'Wet Reckless' Charge?

A "wet reckless" is not necessarily what it sounds like in that you need not actually have been driving visibly recklessly for the charge to apply. Basically, a wet reckless means that you were reckless in your decision to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of more than .08 OR while under the influence of drugs.

Comparing The Penalties For 'Wet Reckless' Vs. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that a wet reckless charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still not as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

FIRST-TIME DUI OFFENDER

Wet Reckless DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.)Up to 180 days (6 mo.)
Fine Amount Up to $1,000Up to $1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years3-4 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None6 months
DUI School? MaybeYes (3 mo.)
Priorability? YesYes

*Does not include penalty assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

SECOND-/THIRD-TIME DUI OFFENDER

Wet Reckless DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.)Up to 365 days (1 year)
Fine Amount Up to $1,000Up to $1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years3-4 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None2 years for 2 nd offense 3 years for 3 rd offense
DUI School? Yes (9 mo.)Yes (18-30 mo.)
Priorability? YesYes

*Does not include penalty assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

Aside from the two most notable differences in county jail time and the fine amounts, the differences in probation periods and mandatory license suspension periods make a wet reckless conviction worth pursuing over a DUI conviction.

Does My Case Qualify For Reduction?

There are numerous factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing a DUI charge. The most important factor is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

The experienced Torrance DUI lawyers at Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, will check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample, and make sure the devices used in the arrest were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free consultation meeting, we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all your constitutional rights were respected.

The second most important factor is how close your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is to the legal limit of .08 percent. Typically, prosecutors are more willing to offer a wet reckless when the defendant is between a .08 percent and a 0.1 percent — the higher your BAC, the less forgiving the prosecutor.

The third most important factor is whether or not you have an existing criminal record. If you have a clean record with no prior arrests or convictions, the prosecutor is more likely to look favorably upon your case.

DRY RECKLESS

What Is A 'Dry Reckless' Charge?

A dry reckless is another way of saying reckless driving. So what defines reckless driving? According to Vehicle Code §23103, a person is guilty of reckless driving if they drove a vehicle in " willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property." This basically means that you knew that the manner in which you were driving your vehicle was unsafe, either to other people or their property, and yet you did it anyway.

Comparing The Penalties For 'Dry Reckless' Vs. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that a dry reckless charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still not as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

FIRST-TIME DUI OFFENDER

Dry Reckless DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.)Up to 180 days (6 mo.)
Fine Amount $145—$1,000$390—$1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years3-4 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None6 months
DUI School? MaybeYes (3 mo.)
Priorable? NoYes

SECOND-/THIRD-TIME DUI OFFENDER

Dry Reckless DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.)Up to 365 days (1 year)
Fine Amount $145—$1,000$390—$1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years3-4 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None2 years for 2 nd offense 3 years for 3 rdoffense
DUI School? MaybeYes (18-30 mo.)
Priorable? NoYes

*Does not include penalty assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

Apart from the two most notable differences in county jail time and the fine amounts, the differences in probation periods, mandatory license suspension periods, and priorability make a dry reckless conviction worth pursuing over a DUI.

For example, a common rule when you are on probation is that you are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. If you were to violate this rule, you will be said to have violated probation, and as a result, may face more jail time and fines, and may even have to restart your entire probation period all over again.

Likewise, having a prior DUI conviction on your record means that a second DUI charge within a 10-year period will result in much harsher penalties than the first time around, such as up to one year in county jail, three to four years of probation, a two-year suspension of your driver's license, and 18 months of alcohol education classes. If you're facing a second or third DUI conviction, pleading to a dry reckless is a great alternative.

Another benefit of a dry reckless is that it will not necessarily cause your insurance premium to increase or be canceled. The same cannot be said about a DUI conviction or even a wet reckless.

Does My Case Qualify For Reduction?

There are a number of different factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing your DUI charge, but the most important is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

Our skilled attorney will make it a point to check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample and make sure the devices used were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free sit-down consultation session, we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all your constitutional rights were respected.

The second most important factor is how close your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is to the legal limit of .08 percent. Typically, prosecutors are more willing to offer a dry reckless when the defendant is between a .08 percent and a 0.1 percent — the higher your BAC, the less forgiving the prosecutor.

The third most important factor is your criminal record. If you have a clean record with no prior run-ins with the law, the prosecutor is more likely to look favorably upon your case.

EXHIBITION OF SPEED

What Is 'Exhibition Of Speed'?

According to §23109 VC, exhibition of speed is basically the legal term for an illegal street race in which a motor vehicle races against another motor vehicle or even an electronic device such as a clock.

Comparing The Penalties For Exhibition Of Speed Vs. DUI

It is important to bear in mind that an exhibition of speed charge is still a misdemeanor, and as such, comes with its own list of penalties. However, as rough as those penalties may be, they are still only half as bad as the penalties you may be facing with a DUI charge:

FIRST-TIME DUI OFFENDER

Exhibition of Speed DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.)Up to 180 days (6 mo.)
Fine Amount Up to $500Up to $1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years3-5 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None6 months
DUI School? NoYes (3 mo.)
Priorability? NoYes

*Does not include penalty assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

SECOND-/THIRD-TIME DUI OFFENDER

Exhibition of Speed DUI
County Jail Time Up to 90 days (3 mo.)Up to 365 days (1 year)
Fine Amount Up to $500Up to $1,000*
Probation Period 1-2 years3-5 years
Mandatory License Suspension Period None2 years for 2 nd offense 3 years for 3 rdoffense
DUI School? Yes (9 mo.)Yes (18-30 mo.)
Priorability? NoYes

*Does not include penalty assessment fees (typically ~$2,000)

Apart from the two most notable differences in county jail time and the fine amounts, the differences in probation periods and priorability make an exhibition of speed conviction worth pursuing over a DUI.

For example, a common rule when you are on probation is that you are not allowed to drive with any amount of alcohol in your system. If you were to violate this rule, you will be said to have violated probation, and as a result, may face more jail time and fines, and may even have to restart your entire probation period all over again.

Likewise, having a prior DUI conviction on your record means that a second DUI charge within a 10-year period will result in much harsher penalties than the first time around, such as up to one year in county jail, three to five years of probation, and a two-year suspension of your driver's license.

Furthermore, there are plenty of other hassles that can be avoided by reducing your DUI charge to an exhibition of speed charge. Some examples include:

  • Having your driver's license suspended
  • Having to complete a DUI program
  • Having to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

Does My Case Qualify For Reduction?

There are a number of different factors that come into play when determining the likelihood of reducing your DUI charge, but the most important is whether or not the prosecutor has enough evidence to convict you of the DUI as it stands.

Our skilled attorneys will make it a point to check and double-check the results of your blood or breath sample and make sure the devices used were properly calibrated at the time of your arrest. Furthermore, during our free sit-down consultation session, we will hear your side of the story starting from the moments leading up to your arrest to make sure that it was legally valid and that all your constitutional rights were respected.

How Can Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, Help?

If you've been charged with DUI, Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, can help. As former Los Angeles District Deputy Attorneys, we will use our knowledge of how prosecution views DUI cases and our 40-plus years of experience as criminal defense attorneys to help get your DUI charges reduced.

We know you're ready to put your past behind you and get your life back on track, and we're ready to do what needs to be done to make that happen.

Have you or someone you know been charged with DUI or any other crime? Contact Ernenwein & Johnson, Los Angeles and Orange County criminal defense lawyers, today at 424-552-3901 for a free case review.