Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks running back, will accept a plea bargain in his DUI case on Friday. Lynch will plead guilty to reckless driving in exchange for dismissal of the DUI charge. As part of the plea bargain, Lynch will be placed on probation and will be required to complete a safe driving and alcohol consumption course.
On July 14, 2012, California Highway Patrol stopped Lynch for weaving in and out of traffic, nearly colliding with another vehicle. Lynch took a chemical test and his BAC came back at a 0.08, which is right at the legal limit. According to Lynch’s DUI defense lawyer, Lynch considered taking the case to trial, rejecting the plea bargain. However, based on the publicity and potential risks for Lynch should he be convicted, he decided to accept the offer.
Lynch’s plea bargain is often referred to as a wet reckless. It is called a wet reckless because it requires the defendant to take alcohol education classes as part of the plea bargain. The benefit of a wet reckless as opposed to a plea to a DUI or DWAI is that a wet reckless is not considered an alcohol or drug related driving offense. In general, it is beneficial to avoid a DUI or DWAI conviction and, it is even more siginficant should the defendant have any prior DUI’s or pick up any subsequent DUI’s. In Colorado, if you have one prior or more, there is mandatory jail time.
In most instances, it is unusual for a prosecutor to offer a wet reckless when the original charge is a DUI or DWAI. Wet recklesses are offered in rare circumstances. In part, this is because the prosecution must be able to tell the judge that they do not believe they can prove a DUI or DWAI. If the prosecution cannot make this representation, then they are legally prohibited from extending a wet reckless offer. There are many reasons a prosecutor may not be able to prove a DUI or DWAI. Most of these reasons are related to legal issues in the case. Because there may be legal reasons a prosecutor may not be able to prove a DUI or DWAI, it is important to consult with a DUI defense attorney who can help evaluate your case.