When a good DUI attorney is able to exploit the flaws in his or her client's DUI case, the prosecution may offer a breakdown to reckless driving. This is a victory for the defense for a number of reasons.
A reckless driving charge, as opposed to a DUI charge, does not carry a mandatory court-ordered license suspension.
A reckless driving charge, as opposed to a DUI charge, does not carry a mandatory 10-day vehicle immobilization (impoundment) order.
A reckless driving charge does not carry the stigma of a DUI charge. Your insurance rates may not go up as drastically with a reckless driving conviction on your record.
If you complete the Back On Track Program (Miami-Dade only), you will receive the benefit of the bargain; a breakdown to reckless driving.
However, if a good DUI defense attorney is able to show the prosecution the flaws in their case, the prosecutor may offer a breakdown to reckless driving. This breakdown applies regardless of Back On Track eligibility. Even if you have prior DUI convictions, any DUI defendant can be offered a breakdown to reckless if the right defense is presented.
Prosecutors want to get as much as they can out of you. If their case is falling apart and they risk a loss at trial, they will be more likely to settle for reckless driving than risk an acquittal.
On the other hand, trials - no matter how weak the evidence is for the State - are a tremendous risk for the accused. A plea offer that includes a breakdown to reckless driving should always be pursued in a DUI case.
Eric Matheny is a Miami and Broward DUI defense attorney.