CA Vehicle Code 23103.5 VC

VC 23103.5 – Wet Reckless

VC 23103.5 - Wet Reckless

Wet Reckless – Table of Contents

Wet Reckless DUI Charge

In California, Wet Reckless DUI (Vehicle Code 23103.5 VC), means that you were involved in an alcohol-related driving offense. It is commonly used as a plea bargain by the prosecutor in place of the more serious charge of a DUI, CA Vehicle Code 23152.

It’s important to note that there is not a mandatory jail sentence for a wet reckless DUI but there are still substantial fines, insurance rate increases, and other drawbacks to plea bargaining with a wet reckless DUI. The people who benefit the most from being charged with a wet reckless DUI are those who have multiple DUIs within the 10-year look-back period.

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A DUI in California is a priorable offense, meaning each time you are convicted of DUI the punishment has to increase. For example, the second time you are arrested for a DUI you will face a minimum of 96 hours in jail, and the third time you will face a minimum of 120 days in jail. However, if you accept the prosecutor’s plea bargain for a wet reckless DUI then you might get out of the mandatory jail sentence because a wet reckless DUI arrest does not entail mandatory jail time.

If you accept the plea bargain then you will face:

  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • DUI completion course

This looks a lot better then the punishments for a first-offense DUI:

  • Up to 5 years of informal probation
  • Up to 6 months in county jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Up to 9 months of alcohol education
  • Up to 10 months of having your drivers license suspended

Another benefit of accepting the plea bargain is that there is not a mandatory driver’s license suspension for a wet reckless DUI conviction. Because of the fact that a DUI is a priorable offense the length of the suspension placed on your driver’s license increases with every conviction. For example, for a first-time DUI offense, the DMV will suspend your license for six months; a second offense, two years; and a third offense, three years.

However, in order to successfully avoid a driver’s license suspension you will need to be successful at (1) accepting the plea bargain in court, and (2) at your DMV DUI Hearing. The DMV Hearing pertains to if/how long you will lose your driving privileges, not if you are guilty of the offense.

Another benefit, however small, is that the alcohol course required for a wet reckless DUI conviction can be as short as six weeks, where as a DUI conviction requires an alcohol course to be as long as three months.


The benefits of a wet reckless DUI are clear and numerous, however, there are still some drawbacks to accepting the lesser charge. Namely, if you get convicted of a DUI within the ten-year look-back period then you will be subjugated to harsher punishments. This means that you will be treated as a repeat offender and the wet reckless DUI will be treated as a DUI.

Accepting a wet reckless does not ensure that you will not lose your driver’s license. If you either lose your DMV Hearing or if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.08% or greater then you will have your driver’s license suspended.

Also, your insurance company might treat a wet reckless conviction the same way they would treat a DUI conviction. This means that your insurance company has the right to raise your premium significantly or drop you from the company altogether.

How Do You Accept a VC 23103.5 Wet Reckless?

Not all cases are eligible for a wet reckless plea bargain. The prosecutor is likely to reduce your DUI charge to a wet reckless if your BAC is close to the legal limit of 0.08%, if the prosecutor thinks he/she will likely lose in court, and when the prosecutor wants to convict you of something rather than having the charges dropped altogether in court.

It’s important to hire a skilled criminal defense attorney to handle these cases because your attorney will be the one to point out the shortcomings of the prosecutor’s case and argue on your behalf that a wet reckless is a better option for all parties involved. A wet reckless will also be an option for persons with a clean driving record and with a little criminal history.

If you are facing your first or subsequent DUI charge then it’s imperative that you talk to a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. Seppi Esfandi is an Expert in Criminal Law and has practice representing criminals for a plethora of crimes, including DUIs. Seppi Esfandi is also very successful during early intervention where he points out the flaws in the prosecutor’s case and will often have cases dropped before going to trial or have his client’s charges reduced.

We Want to Help

If you or a loved one is being charged with a VC 23103.5, or other DUI-related offense, we invite you to contact us immediately for a free case review. Schedule an appointment to meet with us in person, or feel free to submit an evaluation online and we will get in contact with you ASAP. We can provide a free consultation in our office, or by phone. Our experienced and assiduous Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys will be sure to fight until the end to reduce or drop your charges completely.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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Lara S.
June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

How to Win Your Case

We cannot stress enough that you read, understand and follow these 10 basic rules if you are criminally charged or under investigation:

  1. Don’t ever talk to the police
  2. Do not discuss your case with anyone
  3. Everything you tell your lawyer is confidential
  4. Tell police you need to contact your attorney
  5. Never consent to any search by the police
  6. If the police knock on your door, don't answer!
  7. Realize the consequences of a criminal conviction
  8. Your lawyer (not you) will contact any witnesses
  9. Information on your cell phone is evidence
  10. Early Intervention is the key

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