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Wet Reckless, Fullerton Court

It has become increasingly difficult to negotiate reductions of charges in DUI cases in Orange County Courts. The policy of the Orange County District Attorneys Office is that deputy prosecutors in court must seek approval from their Supervisor before offering a reduction. However, I was in Fullerton Court this morning and was told that the Supervisor there had approved a reduction in my case to an alcohol related reckless driving, commonly referred to as a “ Wet Reckless”. My client had a poor driving pattern including speeding, tail-gating and weaving in and out of traffic. He admitted to feeling “buzzed” to the police. However, his breath alcohol level was .08%. We had already won the DMV hearing based on my toxicologist's testimony that my client's blood alcohol level at the time of driving was likely under a .08%. The deputy district attorney in court expressed surprise that the Supervisor had approved a reduction, based on his track record of denying reduction requests even in .08% BAC cases.
In years gone by, I would have been disappointed with a wet reckless offer in a case like this and would have expected a non alcohol related reckless driving or “dry reckless”. However, the parameters of negotiations change and we now have to make decisions to accept what is offered or go to trial. It is very tempting to take these case to jury trial, but this means more money for the client and potentially stiffer penalties if the case is lost. As a DUI Defense Attorney in Orange County, I know how difficult it can be to win an acquittal in a DUI case and clients should always consider their options carefully before deciding to put their liberty in the hands of an Orange County Jury.