Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

New York Penal Code 120 25 Reckless Endangerment First Degree

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm

New York Penal Code 120.25: Reckless Endangerment First Degree

Reckless endangerment in the first degree is a serious felony charge in New York that can lead to years in prison. This article will explain what constitutes reckless endangerment first degree, potential penalties, and possible defenses.

What is Reckless Endangerment First Degree?

Under New York Penal Code 120.25, a person is guilty of reckless endangerment first degree when they recklessly engage in conduct that shows a “depraved indifference to human life” and creates a “grave risk of death” to another person.

This is different from reckless endangerment second degree, which is a misdemeanor. Reckless endangerment first degree is a class D felony.

Some key aspects of the law:

  • Recklessly engaging in conduct – The prosecution must prove the defendant was aware of and consciously disregarded a substantial and unjustifiable risk their conduct could lead to someone’s death.
  • Depraved indifference to human life – This means the defendant showed an utter disregard for human life and was willing to engage in dangerous conduct not to intentionally harm but simply without regard for possible fatal consequences.
  • Grave risk of death – The defendant’s actions must have created a grave and unjustifiable risk that someone could die. Even if no one was actually injured, the risk itself is enough.

Some examples of reckless endangerment first degree charges:

  • Firing a gun into a crowd
  • Driving at extremely high speeds through city streets
  • Abandoning someone in a remote place without food, water or shelter
  • Severely beating someone and leaving them unconscious

The main distinction from manslaughter charges is that the defendant did not intend to kill the victim. But their depraved indifference to human life led them to engage in conduct that created a grave risk of death.

Penalties and Sentencing

Reckless endangerment first degree is a class D felony punishable by up to 7 years in prison. Actual sentencing depends on:

  • Defendant’s criminal history
  • Acceptance of responsibility
  • Facts of the case

With no prior felonies, a judge may sentence the defendant to probation. But any prior felonies will likely lead to years in state prison.

Other possible penalties include:

  • Fines up to $5,000
  • Restitution to victims
  • Community service
  • Probation supervision

A reckless endangerment conviction also leads to a permanent felony record that can impact jobs, housing, and other opportunities. Certain professional licenses may be revoked. Non-citizens charged with reckless endangerment could face deportation.

Possible Defenses

There are several possible defenses if charged with reckless endangerment first degree:

No reckless conduct – If the defendant’s actions were reasonable and cautious given the circumstances, there was no recklessness.

No risk of death – If the defendant’s conduct could not have plausibly led to someone’s death, there was no “grave risk.”

No depraved indifference – If the defendant did not act with utter disregard for human life, but instead took some precautions, they did not show “depraved indifference.”

Self-defense – The conduct was legally justified as self-defense against an attacker.

False allegations – If the defendant can show the allegations are exaggerated or blatantly false, the charges could be dismissed.

Famous Cases

There have been some high-profile reckless endangerment cases in New York:

  • In 1984, Bernhard Goetz was charged with reckless endangerment for shooting four unarmed black teenagers on a subway who he claimed were trying to rob him. He was acquitted of the reckless endangerment charges but convicted on illegal gun possession.
  • In 2015, an 11-year old boy brought a loaded gun to his after-school program in Harlem and accidentally fired it, injuring two students. He was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment.
  • In 2018, rapper 6ix9ine (real name Daniel Hernandez) pleaded guilty to the use of a child in a sexual performance from a 2015 case involving a 13-year old girl. He was also convicted on charges of third-degree rape and second-degree reckless endangerment for his involvement.
  • In 2022, actor Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of reckless endangerment for the accidental fatal shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the movie set Rust in 2021.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything was explained and any concerns...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!