What is Worse, a DUI or Reckless Driving?Facing a DUI charge can be an overwhelming experience. Not only do you have to worry about the short term impacts of fines and jail time, but you are also staring down a life-long stain on your permanent record.
Luckily, it may be possible to have DUI charge downgraded to reckless driving, which carries the possibility of the record being sealed or expunged. Our law firm has over 75 years of combined experience fighting DUI charges, with many success stories under our belt.
For more information, contact The Ticket Lawyers for a free consultation on (855)-323-8488. Our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Florida DUI Statistics
In the year 2018, according to the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, over 32,000 drivers were arrested for operating their vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Is a Reckless Driving Charge Better Than a Drunk Driving Charge?
While both reckless driving and driving under the influence carry serious consequences, there are several reasons why DUI charges are worse than a reckless driving case.
In Florida, drunk driving carries more severe penalties both in the immediate term and long-term. However, both charges are likely to incur fines and possibly jail time.
The reasons why a reckless driving charge is preferable to a DUI charge are:
- While a difficult process, it is possible to have a reckless driving charge sealed or expunged from your driving record. The same is not true of a DUI. A DUI case will remain on your driver’s license and record for an entire 75 years, which, when the legal driving age is considered, is essentially a life-long sentence.
- It is possible to avoid a conviction for reckless driving. However, a DUI conviction is a mandatory conviction and cannot be avoided.
- The fines for reckless driving are less severe. Reckless driving can amount to a fine, which ranges between $25 and $500 for a first-time offense. A DUI charge can result in fines of between $500 and $2000, depending on the blood alcohol levels and the presence of a minor in your car at the time of the offense.
- The levels of stigma for the two offenses are not the same. As a DUI can only be drug or alcohol-related, it is often the case that friends, family, and employers will shun or shame the offender.
All of the above is why it is preferable for your criminal defense attorney to attempt to get your driving under the influence case downgraded to one of reckless driving or a wet reckless. However, this is a tricky process requiring a skilled and experienced DUI attorney.
Luckily, here at The Ticket Lawyers, our team has over 75 years of combined experience in downgrading drunk driving charges. This can be achieved by negotiating with the prosecutor before the trial, which would lead to a DUI conviction, or as part of a plea bargain. If you have been involved in an alcohol-related offense, get in touch with us as soon as possible. Time is of the essence for an attorney to lessen your potentially life-long penalties.
Can a DUI Be Changed to Reckless Driving?
As covered briefly above, it is possible for a skilled criminal defense attorney to get your DUI reduced to reckless driving or wet reckless charge through either negotiation with the prosecutor or a plea bargain.
The main factor which will influence the decision of the prosecutor is the likelihood of them achieving a guilty verdict for a DUI conviction in court.
There are, however, other considerations which your attorney may use to sway the prosecutor. These are as follows:
- The details contained in the arresting officer’s police report. You are more likely to receive extra consideration if you are polite and cooperative.
- Any concerns with breath test results may assist in downgrading your charge.
- As above, so will any concerns about the legality of the traffic stop, arrest, or subsequent detention.
- The defendant’s criminal record may also have an impact.
- Other aspects of the defendant’s life will be considered, such as their career and education.
- The reputation of the defendant’s attorney in the legal community will also have an impact, which is why it is so important to consider a reputable law firm to defend you from your alcohol-related charges.
A worthwhile DUI attorney will always try their hardest to get a DUI downgraded to either reckless driving or a wet reckless, as these carry less severe penalties.
Does Reckless Driving Come off Your Record?
Much like a DUI, reckless driving will stay on your record for 75 years. However, with reckless driving, there is the chance for your lawyer to get this charge expunged or sealed in the future in order to stop it from impacting your chances of future employment.
There are two methods with the potential to get reckless driving removed from your record. These are getting your record expunged or sealed. These are only an option if you have only been charged for the crime of reckless driving and not convicted.
The agency which decides whether or not you are eligible for these is The Florida Department of Law Enforcement. In order to successfully complete this complex process, you will need the help of a talented and experienced attorney. You only have one opportunity for this process, so it makes sense not to take any chances.
A sealed record means that the record will be inaccessible to the vast majority of the public, with the exception of certain governmental entities. This means you will gain plausible deniability when searching for employment, which is something that a DUI can seriously hinder.
An expunged record is even more comprehensive. These will not be able to be viewed by anyone, unless by special court order.
Will a DUI Ruin Your Life?
Receiving a DUI conviction can be an incredibly scary process, not only do you have to contend with the possibility of a large fine and jail time, but you also have your permanent record to worry about.
It is true that a DUI conviction will make it harder for you to seek employment, as it will be present and visible on your record. It may also make retaining your current job harder if you rely on your vehicle for transport, as a license suspension will prevent you from commuting in the same way.
However, there are certain things that a DUI attorney can do for you in this regard. They will be able to help you fight to have your license reinstated or help you apply for a hardship license. However, these opportunities will no longer be available to you after your second DUI.
Contact The Ticket Lawyers Today
If you are facing a DUI and would like to inquire about the possibility of having the charge downgraded to reckless driving, contact The Ticket Lawyers today.
We offer no-obligation free consultations, and our telephone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To find out about the possibility of downgrading your charge to reckless driving, call us on (855)-323-8488.