Reducing a DUI to Reckless Driving
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case and your state’s laws, it may be possible for you to have your DUI charge reduced to reckless driving. There are many advantages to this and your attorney will review whether or not this may be an option for you.
What are the benefits of having my DUI charge reduced to reckless driving?
A DUI conviction is something you do not want on your criminal record. It can affect your future employment opportunities or even cost you your current job—especially if your job depends on driving. Your insurance rates will double or your policy will be cancelled altogether meaning you can’t drive. It’s also likely that your driver’s license will be suspended for one year (even for a first offense) and you’ll face expensive fines. There’s also a possibility of jail time, probation and community service.
A reckless driving charge doesn’t carry nearly the same penalties as a DUI conviction. Your fines will be lower and you’ll be able to keep your vehicle on the road. Also, if you are ever charged with DUI in the future, it will be a first conviction (not a dreaded second conviction).
A reckless driving charge is also not nearly as socially unacceptable as a DUI conviction. Ask anyone convicted of DUI and they will tell you that it is a long, emotional journey.
How can my DUI be reduced to reckless driving?
If your attorney determines that this is the right decision for you, he or she will enter into a plea bargain with the prosecution. But why would the prosecution agree to this? There may be several reasons. For one, they may not have enough evidence against you or the evidence they do have may be questionable. Rather than facing an acquittal at trial, they’re likely to accept a reckless driving charge. As part of the agreement to amending the charge, the prosecution may demand that you pay a fee and attend DUI-related classes.
When your attorney is reviewing the facts of your case, he or she may suggest a plea bargain such as this.