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DWI vs. Wet Reckless: Know the Difference and Your Options in Texas

Mug of frothy beer with handcuffs and keys symbolizing drunk driving arrest.

A DWI is a serious offense where you're charged with operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. If you're facing DWI charges in Texas, Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer can help you explore your options. That includes potentially reducing your DWI charge to a wet reckless charge or having it dismissed entirely.

In Texas, a DWI conviction carries serious legal consequences. For a first-time offense, this may include:

  • A fine of up to $2,000
  • Jail time ranging from 72 hours to 180 days
  • Driver's license suspension for 90 days to one year

Penalties are typically higher for DWI offenses with a BAC of 0.15% or greater, second or subsequent DWI offenses, and DWI offenses involving a car accident.

How does a wet reckless charge differ from a DWI?

The term "wet reckless" is not formally recognized in Texas law. It generally refers to a plea bargain in other states where a driver's DWI charge is reduced to reckless driving with alcohol as a contributing factor. This reduction usually occurs when the evidence of intoxication is less clear, and it typically results in lesser penalties compared to a DWI.

Reckless driving typically carries lighter penalties compared to DWI. They include a fine of up to $200 and/or a maximum jail time of 30 days. These lighter penalties also mean a reckless driving conviction is less likely to adversely affect your future career and education prospects.

What other options do I have to reduce a DWI charge?

Aside from a wet reckless plea deal, DWI charges in Texas can be reduced under certain circumstances. One common approach to reducing DWI charges is through plea bargaining for an Obstruction of a Highway charge, which is classified under disorderly conduct. Unlike a DWI conviction, this charge carries less serious consequences and can be expunged from your Texas criminal record.

Key factors that can influence the reduction of DWI charges include:

  • The absence of prior convictions
  • Your BAC) at the time of arrest
  • Whether the officer conducted the arrest procedure properly

If your BAC was close to the legal limit or there were procedural errors in the arrest, such as improperly conducted field sobriety tests, these can be strong arguments in favor of reducing the charges. Additionally, if you cooperated with the authorities and didn't cause any harm while driving intoxicated, the court could reduce the charges.

Additionally, issues with breathalyzer test administration or violations of constitutional rights can lead to a reduction in charges.

How do I help strengthen my defense?

The best way to protect your rights is to know your rights. You don't have to answer any questions an officer asks. For example, you don't need to disclose whether you've had anything to drink or how much you've had to drink. You also don't have to take a field sobriety test. These tests are subjective and are often unreliable. Your refusal to participate can't be used against you in court.

If you're facing DWI charges in Texas, your freedom and future could be at stake. Let Amanda Webb - DWI Lawyer, protect your rights and develop an effective defense strategy on your behalf. Using strong investigative and case-building skills, Attorney Webb has vast experience helping her clients fight or reduce DWI charges. She'll scrutinize the legality of the traffic stop, the breath or blood test results, and any violation of your constitutional rights.

Don't let a DWI arrest impact your life. Contact us online or call our Conroe law office to begin building your defense.