Common DUI Plea Bargains
What you face in Court from the Prosecutor & Judge
Below are typical plea bargains you can expect to have offered to you in court by the prosecutor.
These are plea bargains for cases that do NOT have any aggravating circumstances. Cases with aggravating circumstances face greater punishment from the prosecutor.
First Time DUI
If you are arrested for a DUI for the first time in your life or it has been over 10 years since your last DUI and your Breath or Blood results are .11 and higher you will probably be offered the following first time DUI plea bargain in court from the prosecutor.
NOTE – On a first time DUI, you do not face any jail time unless there is an aggravating circumstance in your case. Some lawyers will try and scare you by telling you that you face jail on a first time DUI – this is not true unless there exists an aggravating circumstance.
If you have DUI aggravating circumstances the following plea bargains might not apply as you might face greater punishment from the prosecutor.
First Time DUI – PLEA BARGAIN:
- Usually 3 years of summary probation
- Approximately $1,800 in fines
- And a 3 month alcohol program.
Normally you also face a 6 month suspension of your license from the California DMV but after one month of suspension you can obtain a restricted license for work for the remaining 5 months.
Second Time DUI – PLEA BARGAIN:
- Usually 3-5 years summary probation
- Minimum of $1,800 in fines
- An 18 month alcohol program
- 96 hours in jail
- And a 1 year license suspension with no possibility of a restricted license during that year.
Third Time DUI – PLEA BARGAIN:
- Usually 5 years of summary probation
- Minimum of 120 days in jail
- Minimum $1,800 fine
- 3 year license revocation
- And 18 month alcohol program.
Fourth DUI within 10 years:
You face felony charges and possible state prison time.
When your Blood Alcohol levels are close to .08, and if your driving and Field Sobriety Tests are not bad, the prosecutor might offer a plea bargain that is called a wet reckless. A wet reckless is the name for the Vehicle Code (VC) Section 23103 per VC 23013.5 charge of reckless driving involving alcohol. A wet reckless is really a kinder, gentler DUI, a watered down DUI if you will. It is a prior on your record, which means if you get another DUI in the next 10 years it is considered your second DUI. A wet reckless usually means a little less in fines, probation, alcohol program, and no court suspension on your license. The problems with a wet reckless are it’s essentially a DUI on your record and insurance companies usually treat it as a DUI. Read more about Wet Reckless
Dry Reckless / Speed Ex:
If your Breath Results were .06, .07 or .08 then you really want to fight the DUI charges and try and get the plea bargain of a Dry Reckless (Reckless Driving not involving alcohol) or Exhibition of Speeding (Speed Ex). These charges are not alcohol related and do not hang over your head for 10 years like a DUI and wet reckless do.Return to Choose Plea Bargain or Jury Trial Print-Friendly Page