The Law Office of James Novak

Conforming Reckless Alternative to DUI Charges

Maricopa County Lawyer Handling Drunk Driving Cases

You shouldn’t assume a conviction is inevitable if you’ve been charged with drunk driving in Arizona. An experienced attorney may be able to raise strong defenses to secure an outright dismissal or negotiate a favorable plea agreement. If you’re interested in the conforming reckless alternative to DUI charges, call Maricopa County DUI lawyer James Novak to schedule a consultation. He has years of experience reaching plea agreements in DUI cases for clients. As a former prosecutor, he understands how prosecutors think.

What is a Conforming Reckless Alternative to DUI Charges?

There are ways to plead down Arizona DUIs into lesser charges that result in a greater range of possibilities with regard to penalties. Conforming reckless is one type of plea deal that serves as a potential alternative to a DUI conviction. It’s also known as a “wet reckless.” There are several advantages to taking a plea deal involving the conforming reckless alternative.

While a first offense DUI is charged as a class 1 misdemeanor, a conforming reckless plea for a first offense is charged as a class 2 misdemeanor. With a class 1 misdemeanor, you won’t be eligible for probation, release, or sentence suspension until you serve 20 days of incarceration. The maximum penalty is 180 days of incarceration and a $2,500 fine. The penalties for a class 2 misdemeanor aren’t as severe as those for a class 1 misdemeanor. You face at most 120 days in jail and a maximum fine of $750.

Judges have discretion over sentences for conforming reckless pleas. They can consider your reputation, character, and other mitigating factors. Additionally, by pleading to a lesser charge of conforming reckless, you may face less time on probation. You will not have a DUI on your criminal record. You also won’t need to install an ignition interlock device at your own cost the way you would with a DUI. An ignition interlock device stops your engine from starting if the device detects alcohol on your breath.

Under Arizona Revised Statute section 28-693, a judge can still suspend your driver’s license for up to 90 days with a conforming reckless.

Who is Eligible for the Conforming Reckless Alternative to DUI Charges?

Not all people facing DUI charges are eligible for a reduction of a DUI charge to a conforming reckless charge. Further, prosecutors are not required to provide plea agreements at all. If you have repeated DUI convictions, you cannot get this plea. Additionally, if you were caught with 10% or more over the 0.08% blood alcohol limit, it’s unlikely a prosecutor will offer you a conforming reckless plea agreement.

A prosecutor who believes her case is airtight is unlikely to offer you a plea agreement to reduce the charges. This is one reason it’s so important to retain an experienced attorney with a strong reputation who can identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and present a convincing argument that offering a conforming reckless alternative in a plea agreement would be in the best interest of all the parties.

Negotiating an Agreement

Factors that can affect the negotiation of a plea agreement include whether there are any constitutional or procedural violations, and whether there are mitigating circumstances surrounding the drunk driving. The police begin gathering evidence even before they pull you over. However, a police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrongdoing to pull you over and she must have probable cause to arrest you. Shaky evidence in connection with these standards can prove fertile ground for plea agreements.

Consult a Tenacious Lawyer in Maricopa County

Drunk driving is taken seriously by Maricopa County prosecutors. It is wise to retain an attorney who can persuade prosecutors that negotiating a plea is the right thing to do. Our principal James Novak has many years of experience representing those charged with drunk driving offenses in Phoenix along with Gilbert, Chandler and Mesa, and throughout Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
★★★★★
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
★★★★★
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.