A DUI offense is a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania. A conviction for a first-time offense results in a maximum fine of $300 (not including court costs), drug and alcohol treatment, as well as a jail or probation term of up to six months. Additionally, having a DUI conviction on your criminal record could have severe implications for employment and other aspects of your life.
However, you may be able to plead your DUI to a “wet reckless” charge with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Wet reckless is an alcohol-related reckless driving offense, which carries less serious penalties compared to a DUI.
The prosecution will consider the following factors to determine whether to accept a plea to reduced DUI charges:
- It is your first DUI offense
- Your criminal history regarding traffic offenses
- Your blood alcohol content (BAC) was at or close to .08 percent at the time of your arrest
- You weren’t involved in a car accident at the time of you arrest
- Other aggravating factors (e.g. open container, resisting arrest, fleeing the scene, etc.) aren’t apparent
- Proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt is difficult for the prosecution
A wet reckless is punishable by a fine of up to $200, four points on your driving record, driver’s license suspension for up to six months, alcohol education and treatment, as well as a jail sentence of up to 90 days, although you are unlikely to serve any jail time for a reckless driving offense. Having a wet reckless on your criminal record will not result in detrimental consequences in comparison to a DUI charge.
Furthermore, you may also qualify for the Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD) program, which is a pre-trial intervention program available to individuals accused of non-violent offenses who have no criminal history or a limited record. The probation period lasts up to 12 months and completion will result in getting your charges dismissed.
If you have been charged with drunk driving in Scranton, contact the Law Offices of William D. Thompson today at (570) 666-1068″>(570) 666-1068 and request a free consultation today to learn how we can help you.