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VC 23103.5 Wet Reckless Pleas in California

VC 23103.5: Wet Reckless Plea

Legal Definition: “(a) If the prosecution agrees to a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to a charge of a violation of Section 23103 in satisfaction of, or as a substitute for, an original charge of a violation of Section 23152, the prosecution shall state for the record a factual basis for the satisfaction or substitution, including whether or not there had been consumption of an alcoholic beverage or ingestion or administration of a drug, or both, by the defendant in connection with the offense. The statement shall set forth the facts that show whether or not there was a consumption of an alcoholic beverage or the ingestion or administration of a drug by the defendant in connection with the offense.”

What does this mean?

A wet reckless is not a crime you can be charged with, but rather, it is a plea bargain you can obtain as a resolution on your criminal case. This reduced charge means that you are pleading guilty to a reckless driving charge found under VC 23103, but in this situation, you are also admitting that alcohol was involved in that reckless driving. It is a lesser charge than a DUI conviction, and the penalties that come with it are lesser as well. This means that you would pay fewer fines, have less required jail time, and have to do a shorter DUI class. However, if you are unsuccessful in your DMV Hearing, even if you plead to a reduced charge of a Wet Reckless, you would be required to complete the 3-month DUI class to get your license back from the DMV.

A Wet Reckless plea is still a prior DUI conviction, so if you were to receive it is a plea bargain, and then obtain a new DUI within 10 years of that date, then that new DUI offense would be considered a 2nd time DUI, subjecting you to enhanced penalties for that case. A Wet Reckless is not offered as a plea bargain if you have certain disqualifies on your record, or in your specific case. For example, if your DUI offense involved a car accident, your BAC was very high, or if you have a prior record of DUIs, then you are very unlikely to get your case plea-bargained down to a Wet Reckless.


A plea to a reduced charge Wet Reckless has significantly fewer penalties than that found under a standard DUI. For example. Your maximum possible punishment is up to 90 days in a County Jail. You would be required to serve at least 50% of that time in custody. This is also only a misdemeanor reduction charge. In addition, the fines are less than a standard DUI, with no requirement for an Ignition Interlock Device, a six-week, instead of three-month DUI class, and a shorter probation period (1 year instead of 3 years).

This is different from a “Dry Reckless”, which is found under VC 23103, which is reckless driving without any alcohol involved. A Dry Reckless is a much more preferred reduction from a DUI offense or Wet Reckless offense, since there is no DUI class, and it is not a prior offense.

This is not a strike offense under the California Three Strikes law, and it is not a Sex Offense under PC 290. You could also face a loss of your Professional License if convicted, and if you are not a legal resident, you would face Deportation in Immigration Courtsince alcohol-related driving offenses short of a DUI are generally held to be serious crimes in immigration and licensing cases.

Common Defenses

  1. Statute of Limitations
  2. Violation of Rights
  3. Insufficient Evidence

Since a Wet Reckless is a reduced plea bargain, the defenses to a DUI offense are the same as they would be here, since your original charge is still a DUI, and a Wet Reckless is a reduced plea bargain for a DUI.

A common defense to any DUI charge can be that the officer who stopped your car had violated your rights under the Fourth Amendment. In California, if there is a motion to be made where police made an illegal or unlawful stop of you, then under PC 1538.5, you can move to suppress any evidence that came after your illegal stop. This means any admissions you made that you consumed any alcohol, you could win your case by having this suppressed. You need an experienced attorney to review your case for this reason, as unlawful stops are an all too common aspect of DUI Law.

Call Today

A DUI conviction in California can indeed have devastating and lasting effects on your life, including hefty fines, mandatory classes, and potential jail time. The consequences extend beyond the legal penalties, affecting your driving privileges, employment, insurance rates, and more. Understanding the severity of DUI charges and the rigorous prosecution they entail in California is crucial.

At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, our Ontario VC 23103.5 attorney specializes in defending against DUI and related offenses, including cases where a reduction to a “Wet Reckless” plea might be a viable option. A Wet Reckless plea can sometimes offer lesser penalties and may be a strategic choice in certain circumstances, potentially saving your job and lessening other long-term impacts.

Our team has successfully defended hundreds of DUI cases throughout the Inland Empire, bringing extensive knowledge, experience, and a tailored approach to each case. We understand the nuances of DUI laws and defense strategies and are committed to providing the most effective defense possible.

Facing a DUI charge is a serious matter, and having the right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and are available 24/7 to answer any questions and provide the support you need.

If you or someone you know is facing a DUI or Wet Reckless charge, don’t hesitate to reach out for professional legal assistance. Contact Inland Empire Criminal Defense today at 909-939-7126. Located in Ontario, CA, we are dedicated to defending your rights and working toward the best possible resolution for your case.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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