I would still ask for the public defender and see what they can do. The fines, penalties assessment and fees for a first time DUI, even a wet reckless, can run over a thousand dollars. A wet reckless still requires you to attend a first offender program for three months and this charge will remain on your driving record for 10 years, because a wet reckless still qualifies as a DUI for DMV purposes. That 10 years of higher insurance premiums, so I hope you're driving a Kia and not a Corvette! I don't know if you will have to have the breathalyzer device installed in your car on a wet reckless, but the PD would know for sure. You might cringe at spending a thousand or two on an attorney, but over the long run it's a bargain.
You are not doing yourself much of a favor by reducing it to wet reckless. As wet reckless counts as a DUI prior, it has a DUI program, and slightly lower fines. Under some circumstances it may be a good idea, but the facts of your case need to be examined by an experienced DUI attorney to see if a wet reckless is your bet option.
Could your DUI be lowered to a non-DUI misdemeanor offense, an infraction, or even dismissed? A good DUI attorney may be able to do that for you. Doing a cost-benefit analysis is personal. Regardless, it is almost always better to go with a good DUI lawyer that to try to do it yourself.
Law Offices of Tony M. Seyfi
It is possible, but you might be selling yourself short. If the stop was unlawful, you might be able to get the case dismissed.
Beyond that though, you also have to deal with the DMV hearing. Getting it reduced in court won't remove a suspension in your driving record unless it is an acquittal after trial or a specific type if plea. For DMV hearing purposes, there is no negotiation. You need a defense sufficient to win the hearing. With a .09 BAC, you will likely need to hire an expert witness. If that is the case, you will need to har familiarity with how to conduct direct examination if an expert.
Either way, is it something you could do? Absolutely, if you are willin to put the time and energy into effectively putting the case together. Should you do it? I would suggest, not. If you requested a DMV hearing, or can do so still, that is the best tool for most DUI lawyers to do their investigation. It allows us to gather most of the relevant information and cross-examine officers before the DA knows about the case.
As far as attorney fees go, if successful, you can make that up trough reduces fines etc. DUI fines can a average around $2k-$2,500 on a first offense, depending on county. Fines on a wet are substantially lower, as are fines for a "dry".
Best of luck.
Any information provided through Avvo.com in response to a question is not, and cannot be considered a formation of any Attorney-Client relationship. Questioner understands that the nature of this system allows only for a cursory review of case information, and more detailed information should not be divulged in this public forum. As such, Questioner is recommended to contact an Attorney in order to discuss the full details of their case and a more specific advisement of potential rights and liabilities.
Sign up to receive a 3-part series of useful information and legal advice about DUIs.