Reckless Driving vs. DUI
You’re at a concert in the middle of the summer, and all they’re serving is beer and water … and both cost the same. Being the practical-minded person you are, you decide if you’re going to spend the same amount of money anyway, you might as well have a little fun. The problem is, it’s really hot and you are staying pretty thirsty, which of course translates into several of those ice-cold beers. Since you made the wrong and dangerous decision to drive, on the way home you get caught in an unexpected license check.
Call Your Delaware DUI Lawyer!
Driving under the influence is never, ever a good idea. Aside from being illegal, you put yourself and others at extreme risk. However, sometimes we make mistakes. While DUI-related charges are serious, your Wilmington, Newark, or other DE DUI attorney may be able to help you through it with minimal damage.
Your DUI attorney in Delaware will look at the circumstances surrounding your arrest to determine the best course of action. Sometimes a drunk driving lawyer will be able to get your charges dismissed completely. When this is not possible, however, your Newark or Wilmington DUI lawyer will work to offer you the best plea option possible.
What is Reckless Driving?
Reckless driving in Delaware is a motor vehicle offense under 21 Del.C. §4175. It involves driving a car or other vehicle without due consideration for the safety of others and without adequate regard for the property of others. Reckless driving can involve speeding, racing on the streets, distracted driving or any number of other actions that show a driver does not take the act of driving seriously.
For a first offense of reckless driving in Delaware, you may be fined between $100 and $300, face imprisonment of up to 30 days or some combination of both. You will lose six points on your driving record. If you are convicted of reckless driving a second time within three years, you may face fines of up to $1,000 and up to 60 days of imprisonment.
Why is a DUI Considered Reckless Driving?
A DUI is not automatically considered reckless driving, but if you are charged with a DUI, your attorney may seek to have your charges reduced to reckless driving with alcohol involved to lessen your sentence. A first-time DUI charge in Delaware can mean fines of up to $1,500 and up to 60 days in jail in addition to a suspended license of up to 24 months. In comparison, you may even get a suspended sentence and fines of only $100 if you are found guilty of reckless driving.
In Delaware, if you make a DUI Alcohol-Related plea, you may need to attend alcohol treatment or DUI classes as well as pay the penalties. Your insurance costs will go up, but you will not face jail time in most cases, and your future employers will not see a DUI on your record. If you get a second DUI, however, your DUI Alcohol-Related plea will count as a first DUI.
If your attorney is able to secure a reckless driving charge without the DUI Alcohol-Related plea, you may not have to face the notation on your driving record, and you may not have to get your license suspended. This is often a best-case outcome.
Is Reckless Driving a Felony When a DUI Is Involved?
Reckless driving itself is a misdemeanor. A DUI is only a felony in Delaware if you have previous DUIs on your record. For example, a third DUI is a felony if it happens within five years of the other two DUIs. A fourth DUI in Delaware is a “Class E” felony, regardless of when the other DUIs occurred.
What to Do After Getting a DUI
If you have been accused of a DUI, act fast and retain the services of a DUI attorney as quickly as possible. A DUI conviction can affect your employment prospects, insurance rates, driving record, ability to get around and even your future career. It can also mean jail time. Working with an attorney can ensure you do not end up overpaying for one mistake.
Understanding Reckless Driving, Alcohol-Related
Penalties for a DUI conviction are severe, even for first offenses. First offenders can avoid jail time in many cases, but there will still be a revocation of your driver’s license. Second and subsequent offenses have mandatory jail time, in addition to license revocation and steep fines and penalties.
In order to avoid the severity of these penalties when case dismissal is not possible, your DUI attorney in Newark, DE may suggest you plea guilty to reckless driving, alcohol related. Make no mistake: this is still a serious charge with serious penalties, but the penalties are not quite as severe as those of a DUI conviction.
Pleading guilty to a wet reckless driving charge will allow you to keep your driver’s license. You must still complete an approved alcohol education and treatment course, and most other penalties will remain the same. You will not, however, have a glaring DUI conviction on your criminal history.
It is important to note that, while a wet reckless driving plea does carry benefits over a DUI conviction, it is still a serious conviction. If you do not comply with the conditions of your plea, you may still lose your license at an administrative hearing. If you are ever arrested for DUI again, the court will consider it a second DUI when ordering penalties.
Reckless driving, alcohol-related is a better charge than outright DUI, and your Delaware DUI lawyer will work to get your charges reduced to this if possible. It’s also important to remember that it is still a serious charge with serious penalties. Please be safe and don’t drive under the influence.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
An attorney at Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya can do many things for you if you have been accused of DUI driving. They can determine whether the traffic stop or sobriety tests administrated to you were legal and correct. They can also present any extenuating circumstances and any evidence in your favor, seeking to reduce your sentence to reckless driving, if appropriate. While reckless driving consequences are still severe, they generally allow you to keep your job and avoid jail time, providing you with a second chance.
Contact Doroshow, Pasquale, Krawitz, and Bhaya today for a consultation to discuss your defense strategy.