Can I Plead to a "Wet Reckless" in Minnesota?

Plea bargaining in Minnesota drunk driving cases.

In some states, it’s possible for a motorist who’s accused of driving while intoxicated (DWI) to “plea bargain” for a lesser charge. When such a plea bargain is for a reckless driving charge, it’s sometimes called a “wet reckless.”

Plea Bargaining in Minnesota DWI Cases

Unlike some other states, Minnesota doesn’t restrict prosecutors from plea bargaining in DWI cases. So, for someone who’s charged with drunk driving, plea bargaining for a wet reckless or some other lesser offense is a possibility.

However, without the prosecutor’s consent, a judge can allow a defendant to plea to a lesser charge only when “satisfied that the prosecutor cannot introduce sufficient evidence to justify the submission of the offense charged to the jury or that it would be a manifest injustice not to accept the plea.” In other words, the judge can override the prosecution's decision not to plea bargain only in cases where the evidence is weak or there’s a compelling reason to do so. (Minn. R. Crim. P. 15.07 (2017).)

Benefits of a Wet Reckless Plea

The benefits of pleading to a wet reckless are simple: The penalties for a reckless driving violation are less severe than those for a driving while intoxicated conviction.  

Talk to an Attorney

If you’ve been arrest for driving under the influence, talk to an experienced local DWI attorney. The facts of every case are different. A qualified DWI lawyer can talk to you about what the possibilities are for your case.

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