How to Reduce a DUI to a Reckless Driving
If you've been arrested for DUI, its only going to take a couple of hours before one of your friends mentions to you "hey, you should get that reduced to a reckless driving. Yes, here in Florida you can get your DUI reduced to a reckless driving. It is certainly an option.
We call it a wet reckless. We also call it an alcohol related reckless driving. And, the penalties are pretty similar to a first time DUI, but we all know that having a reckless beats having a DUI on your record.
This reduction is only going to come through negotiations with the prosecutor, you're not going to get this from the judge. And in most circumstances, a reckless is only available to first time DUI offenders. if you've got a prior DUI, don't count on your second DUI being reduced to a reckless. Now, I've done it for clients, other attorneys have too, but I just don't want you counting on it because its just so rare.
The question is, how do we do this? How do we get these DUI's reduced to recklesses? Well, we've got lots of ways. Lots of tricks in our little bags. It comes down to plea negotiations. I want to review with you how we maneuver your case to get there.Getting a Reckless Involves 5 Factors
- THE BLOW: I would say the closer you get to blowing a 0.08 BAL, the better your chances are at a reckless.
- THE STOP: also, we want to look at the stop of your car. Because, a questionable stop vs a good stop makes all the difference. If you're accused of weaving or failing to use a blinker, that's a pretty questionable stop. If you were stopped for non-driving issues, say a tag light out, I mean, come on. The cop's just telling you that you drove perfect, you didn't drive drunk but there was something mechanically wrong with your car--that's good for you.
- THE FST'S: We look at the field sobriety exercises, again, all cops think you did horribly on the field sobriety exercises. We look at them again and if you did well, we're going to get you a reckless driving.
- THE WITNESSES: We have got to check the witnesses in the case, especially on an accident case. If they can't support the facts of the case, you might get a reckless.
- PROGRAMS: Aside from facts and all those issues, some counties, like Seminole County here in Central Florida, for example, they've set up a way to get a reckless driving without good facts. You can have bad facts, they call this the DUI First Time Offender Program, and this program reduces your DUI to a reckless driving so long as you jump through a few hoops. Your attorney does need to negotiate you into the program but it is a good program.
And finally, I want to tell you that a reckless driving is really just a compromise, a negotiation with the state. Often times the prosecutors don't understand how weak their case is, so we defense attorneys will file a Motion to Suppress, a Motion in Limine, or a Motion to Dismiss just to remind them of what a crappy case they have.
But the bottom line here is, I don't see this happening here without an attorney. So please, hire yourself a good local defense lawyer that handles DUI's. I do wish you luck on your case, thanks for watching. Take care.