Reckless Endangerment Charges
What are Reckless Endangerment Charges?
Some states maintain Reckless Endangerment statutes that prescribe penalties for reckless conduct. Reckless endangerment charges cover a broad range of actions that involve the intentional disregard of the safety of another person.
In order to be found guilty of reckless endangerment, the state must prove that the defendant understood that their actions posed a great risk of harm, and disregarded that risk and continued to perform the action.
When proving reckless endangerment charges, it isn’t really necessary to prove that the defendant intended to cause the resulting harm. However, they must have intended to perform the act in question, and again they must have understood the risks associated with their conduct.
What are Some Acts That Might Lead to Reckless Endangerment Charges?
Many acts can lead to reckless endangerment charges. Dangerous acts don’t always lead to criminal charges if the person follows the basic guidelines for preventing injuries under everyday situations that involve risk. However, disregarding those risks might lead to reckless endangerment charges.
The following are some examples of everyday actions that could lead to reckless endangerment charges if not performed properly:
- Driving: disobeying traffic laws and principles of safe driving is one of the main forms of reckless driving
- Construction projects: Deliberately disregarding safety rules at a construction site can lead to reckless endangerment charges
- Home issues: some forms of child abuse involve reckless endangerment, such as leaving a child unattended or allowing them to play with chemical substances. This is sometimes known as child endangerment
- Hospital malpractice: this can sometimes also lead to criminal charges if a professional intentionally disregarded instructions or placed a patient in danger
Proving reckless endangerment can often require an examination of the many forms of evidence in order to prove the defendant’s mind state. If the defendant can prove that they didn’t know, or didn’t have a good reason to know about the harm, then it may serve as a defense in their favor.
Legal penalties for reckless endangerment can include criminal fines and possible time in jail. Repeat offenses may lead to increased criminal penalties. Some reckless endangerment charges also overlap heavily with property crime laws.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Help Defending Against Reckless Endangerment Charges?
Defending against reckless endangerment charges generally requires the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney. You may need to contact a lawyer in your area immediately if you have any legal questions or inquiries regarding criminal endangerment. Your lawyer can represent you and can identify possible defense to the charges you or your loved may be facing.
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Last Modified: 12-10-2012 12:05 PM PST
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