In Chicago, driving under the influence, or DUI, occurs if you are in physical control of a motor vehicle and your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent. According to Illinois DUI law 11-501 of the Vehicle Code, the state includes sitting in the driver’s seat as being in control of a motor vehicle. This means you do not have to drive. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is the amount of alcohol in your blood.
The minimum jail time for a Chicago DUI depends on the type of offense. For instance, the first offense requires no minimum jail time. The second offense you may spend a minimum of five days in Cook county jail.
In some instances, a DUI charge can become a wet reckless charge in Chicago.
What is a Wet Reckless Charge in Chicago?
In Chicago, wet reckless is a common term for the criminal charge of reckless driving outline in the state’s 11-503 Vehicle Code. It is a lesser charge than DUI. According to state law, you can be convicted of reckless driving if you drove a motor vehicle in a way that showed a wanton or willful disregard for the safety of human beings or property.
A show of willful or wanton disregard for property and people includes driving while under the influence of alcohol. In other words, you intentionally committed the act or did it on purpose. You can also be convicted of wet reckless if you knowingly used an incline in the street to jump another motor vehicle.
Severity of a Reckless Driving Charge depends on Victim’s Injury
The possible consequences of a wet reckless driving conviction depends on whether an innocent person was injured during the offense. The court will look at whether:
.A person was injured
.Who was the person injured, and
.What was the extent of their injuries
Conviction for a Wet Reckless Charge in Chicago
Wet reckless is a Class A misdemeanor in Illinois. If convicted, you face, up to a year in Cook county jail. You may be ordered to pay a $2,500 fine too. Instead of jail time, you may be sentenced to probation. The maximum probation time is two years.
If the reckless driving conviction involved an injury to a victim, the misdemeanor charge may become a felony. The felony conviction occurs if injuries occur to a crossing guard or minor. You can be sentenced to a felony if any victim sustained serious, or aggravating injuries.
A Wet Reckless Charge is a Better Option for Anyone Facing a DUI
Both a DUI and wet reckless charge are Class A misdemeanors. However, pleading guilty to a wet reckless charge has less consequences than a traditional DUI charge. For instance, Illinois law requires anyone convicted of DUI to lose their driver’s license for at least one year.
A wet reckless conviction has no such requirement unless you’ve been convicted of the charge twice in a 12-month period. This is an important reason many people plead guilty to a wet reckless charge instead of fighting a DUI charge in criminal court.
Another difference between the two criminal charges is the harsh penalty associated with re-offending. If you are convicted of DUI, you may be under court supervision. This means that any violation of your sentence may result in re-sentencing and a harsher sentence. If you were able to avoid having your license revoked and you re-offend, your license will be revoked. In fact, to be put in this situation, you do not have to re-offend. You can simply be accused of DUI for the second time.
However, the court is prohibited from taking your license from you if you violate your wet reckless sentence. The court can sentence you to one year in Cook county jail. Of course, everything has an exception. The only time the court can take your license because of violating your wet reckless sentence is if you have not paid all court costs and fines associated with your wet reckless charge. The secretary of state can refuse to renew your license for failure to pay the fees and court costs.
Perhaps the most important reasons to choose a wet reckless plea over a DUI charge is your criminal record. A wet reckless driving offenses is not as negative as a DUI conviction. With a DUI charge or conviction, you at risk of losing your job or having a limited number of job prospects. Wet reckless does not carry the same type of severe consequences as a DUI.
Contact a DUI Attorney who Specializes in Wet Reckless Charges
You may be ready to agree to a wet reckless charge, but you must contact a criminal attorney first. Prosecutors will only negotiate a plea deal, which is a guilty plea in exchange for a lesser sentence, with a criminal attorney. This means that you cannot request a lesser charge. Your attorney must do so for you. Contact us immediately and we will start working on your DUI charge.