A wet reckless conviction looks almost exactly the same on paper as a DUI does, so why is it so important for a registered nurse to push for this result at the criminal level?… three little letters: BRN.

A wet reckless is still a misdemeanor criminal conviction. Anyone looking at your criminal history will be able to see it. You still have to disclose it to employers. It takes just as long to wait to have it expunged. It is still the same amount of points on your driving record. It will still raise your rates with your insurance company. You still have to file an SR-22…. You get the idea. On their face, it doesn’t appear that there is really any difference between a wet reckless conviction and a DUI conviction, and to be honest, there isn’t for most people. But you are not most people, you are a California registered nurse and for you, the difference is HUGE!

The one entity that differentiates between a wet reckless and a DUI is the California Board of Registered Nursing (the BRN) and for you as a nurse, this is the one entity that should really matter. The BRN views the wet reckless as a minor issue that doesn’t rise to level of violating the Nurse Practice act, while a DUI is a major issue and is always cause for an Accusation to be filed against your RN license.


If properly disclosed within the mandatory time frame of 30 days following conviction, a wet reckless will result in a citation and fine from the BRN in 99% of our cases. A citation and fine is a dream result! It is the equivalent of a slap on the wrist from the BRN. It is not considered formal discipline, only an administrative penalty.  You do not have to disclose a citation for a wet reckless to your employer or to future employers. It doesn’t get attached to your RN license on the BRN’s license verification site, Breeze for the world to see and the fine is reasonable. You happily scratch out your check for about $750.00 to the BRN and the whole thing is done and over with! On top of that, the citation itself is undiscoverable even via public records request after three years (the same time you get the criminal manner expunged) and it’s like it never even happened.


A DUI conviction is a whole other ball game. The BRN is very harsh when it comes to DUIs. They look at a DUI conviction the exact same way as someone who is purposefully diverting medication or someone who comes to work impaired. It is a big deal. The BRN will file an accusation calling for revocation of the RN license and you will have to convince the BRN to give you some lesser form of discipline, like probation. Keep in mind, we have a 98% success rate in keeping our client’s RN licenses, we have never had a client have their license revoked for any DUI, but probation is no picnic. It is public record. You must disclose it to all employers. It does get attached to your license on Breeze. It is available for the world to see and it always will be. Depending on the probation requirements imposed, it can cost about $15,000 in fines to the BRN.


So, while a wet reckless conviction is about the same as a DUI for every average Joe out there, it isn’t the same for you as a nurse. It is incredibly important, I would go so far as to say critical, for a RN to find a DUI attorney who will fight tooth and nail to get a DUI charge reduced to a wet reckless. Our vetted panel of expert attorneys do precisely that. Because RN Guardian’s attorneys’ focus is on the NURSE and their license exclusively, we go to battle at the DUI stage with the sole purpose of protecting your RN license at the end. Most DUI attorneys will simply plead you out to a DUI, especially if you’ve found one for around $2500 and paid them a flat fee. The less work they do- the more $$$ they make, so they aren’t going to spend hours trying to negotiate a DUI down to a wet reckless. They just won’t. DUI representation is the only type of case we handle that DOESN’T have a flat fee because we know that if it is in our nurse’s best interest to spend another 5 hours to get the wet reckless, we need to do that. If we need to hire an expert to testify on breathalyzer calibration, that is going to happen. Because 100% of our focus is on the registered nurse’s license and her career, we know that spending a little more on the front end with the DUI is going to save you $15 GRAND on the back end. It will save you from having to disclose this to your employer. It may save your job, and perhaps most importantly, it safeguards your reputation among your colleagues because a wet reckless conviction opposed to a DUI is not attached to your RN license. For our nurse clients, at the end of the day, it is the RN license that matters.

If you have recently been arrested for a DUI please give us a call. You probably don’t know the results of your blood alcohol content (BAC) yet but, we have had success in multiple jurisdictions getting wet reckless convictions for BACs as high as .13% for a blood draw and .15% for a breathalyzer result.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to get a wet reckless conviction and are ready to disclose it, call us as well. A 99% success rate in cites and fines for wet reckless disclosures is a hard statistic to beat!

We can help you.

  • At this time, we only represent nurses and nursing students in California, Arizona, and Texas*

  • *For licenses in other states, please visit TAANA