How to Reduce an OVI to “Wet Reckless” in Ohio

Posted On: July 30th, 2020 by Bradley J. Groene
Driving fast at night

The Cincinnati police aggressively enforce the drunk driving laws. Unfortunately, you can find yourself facing OVI charges because of a simple mistake. Now you’re worried about the consequences and wondering if you have any realistic options.

You’ve heard people mention a “wet reckless” as a way to avoid a DUI conviction, but don’t know what it is or whether it is an option in your case.

The Cincinnati DUI attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates know how to fight an Ohio DUI charge and get a fair result. We’ll help you understand your options and aggressively pursue the best possible outcome.

If you’ve been charged with DUI/OVI and need help, call us at (513) 338-1890 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.

What is a “Wet Reckless” in Ohio?

To understand the term “wet reckless”, it’s helpful to understand the basics of a DUI (also known as “OVI”).

In Ohio, as in most other states, you can be charged with drunk driving if you are pulled over and have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher. In cases where your BAC is slightly under or slightly above .08%, or there are other problems with your case, the prosecutor may allow you to avoid a DUI conviction by pleading to the lesser charge of reckless driving.

The term “wet reckless” refers to the plea agreement whereby you plead guilty to reckless driving to avoid the DUI charge.

Therefore, you can’t be charged with “wet reckless” because Ohio has no specific law against reckless driving while under the influence of alcohol. Whether you can plead to wet reckless is entirely up to the prosecution.

Odds of Reducing a DUI to a Wet Reckless?

Generally, first-time DUI offenders are the most likely to be offered a wet reckless plea. Your BAC needs to have been slightly above or slightly below .08%. If your BAC was significantly higher than .08%, it is highly doubtful the prosecution will offer you a wet reckless unless there are other problems with their case.

Prosecutors also don’t usually offer wet reckless if you caused a car accident that resulted in property damage or injury.

That said, a skilled DUI/OVI attorney can help persuade the prosecutor to reduce your DUI charge to a wet reckless based on the specific facts and circumstances. Your attorney may be able to identify weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case that may help you avoid a DUI conviction.

The Penalties for a Wet Reckless vs. A DUI?

If you’re a first-time DUI offender in Ohio, you are facing the following penalties:

  • Three days in jail or completion of a 72-hour driver intervention program
  • Up to six months in jail
  • Fines of $375 up to $1,075
  • Suspension of your driver’s license from six months to three years
  • Ignition interlock device

The penalties for a wet reckless are far less severe but vary according to your criminal history.

  • No prior traffic convictions, you will likely receive a $100 fine.
  • One prior traffic conviction within the last year, you will be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor. You may be sentenced to spend up to 30 days in jail and required to pay up to $250 in fines.
  • Two prior convictions within the last year, you will be charged with a third-degree misdemeanor. You could also face up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.

Keep in mind, that a wet reckless comes through a plea agreement. The prosecutor and the judge have some discretion for determining the penalties in your case, so your attorney can help negotiate for the best deal possible.

Charged with DUI? Contact an Ohio DUI Defense Attorney

If you’ve been charged with DUI, remember there is hope and you have options. The attorneys at Luftman, Heck & Associates have the skills and experience you need to get a fair outcome.

Don’t risk your future by waiting too long or assuming this will sort itself out – contact us today by calling (513) 338-1890 or visiting us online to schedule your free consultation.