Wet Reckless in Ventura County…It’s a Thing Now
A recent policy with prosecutors in Ventura County is allowing the plea bargain of DUI’s. In the 27 years I have been practicing law in California, there was only one Alcohol Related Reckless Driving offense given out in Ventura County. Most people don’t even know about it. That’s because the district attorney then, Michael Bradbury, didn’t authorize it. Actually, he strongly opposed it. The problem was that his office wasn’t prosecuting the case. It was the State Attorney General handling the case because the defendant was a Ventura County employee and the DA’s office was recused. The case went to trial with an outstanding former defense lawyer (now judge) Kevin DeNoce garnering a hung jury. In case you don’t realize it, that’s a huge victory in Ventura County. Then, rather than retrying the case, the AG offered a wet reckless. The defense took it, and the case was resolved.
Nearly twenty years later, the game has changed. The Ventura County District Attorney, under the leadership of Erik Nasarenko, has finally changed their office policy. In limited cases, a first offense DUI can be reduced to a wet reckless where the blood alcohol is very low, there are no other aggravating factors, and the case is resolved at the arraignment stage. This new policy only applies to cases going forward.
This means, a case that I have had for over 6 months, that meets all policy criteria, is still not eligible simply because it is too old. If you plead not guilty at the arraignment, you may blow your shot at a wet reckless. If you have a criminal history, you may be out of the running. Any of the “normal” aggravating factors: High BAC, kids in the car, excessive speed, prior convictions, no license and more, could knock you out of the box.
If you have been arrested for DUI in Ventura County, call your lawyer today. You need to take advantage of this limited window of opportunity before it closes. If your lawyer doesn’t know about this change in Ventura, you probably hired the wrong lawyer.
If you or someone close to you is charged with DUI, call someone who knows how to navigate the court system. Call someone who knows how to handle the DMV. Call someone who makes your goals his priority.
Attorney Jeffrey Vallens (805) 230-3651 or (818) 783-5700 or email at: email@example.com