Reckless endangerment is any act that shows an individual has no regard for human life. Even if no one actually got hurt, when someone acts in a way that puts others in danger this is considered reckless endangerment. Law enforcement takes their job to protect the safety of the public very seriously, and charges of reckless endangerment is a serious crime. If convicted of this crime, the sentence could include significant prison time. There are two different levels of reckless endangerment – first degree and second degree. The difference between the two is whether the actions could result in serious physical injury or actual death. It is important to understand exactly what the court system defines as reckless endangerment.
New York penal code 120.25: Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree Broken Down
New York Penal Code 120.25 addresses the crime of reckless endangerment in the first degree. This states a person is “guilty of reckless endangerment in the first degree when, under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in contact which creates a grave risk of death to another person.” A “depraved indifference to human life” means that the person just doesn’t care whether s/he hurts someone or not. This person acts not because they are deliberately trying to hurt someone. They just don’t care if they put other people at risk of death.
New York Penal Code 120.25 in the first degree is a class D felony. Convection of this crime could result in up to 7 years in state prison.
Examples of Reckless Endangerment
One example of reckless endangerment would be a high speed chase. If someone is trying to elude the police by driving at high speeds, that shows a reckless disregard for other people on the road and pedestrians that could be hurt in the process.
Another example would be drive-by shootings. When someone discharges a firearm into a home, another car, or into a group of people, that shows that while they are trying to harm a specific person, they really don’t care if they hit other people in the process.
There are many examples of reckless endangerment such as drag racing, throwing items from an overpass onto the highway, and more.
One defense would be to show that there was never any danger of death to anyone, regardless of what the situation looks like. If no one was ever at grave risk of death, there is no reckless endangerment. Another way a good New York defense attorney could use to reduce the potential sentence is by showing that their client is contrite and takes responsibility for their actions.
A judge has latitude in sentencing in a case of reckless endangerment. An experienced defense attorney will fight to get the charges dismissed or at least reduced. If that isn’t possible, a good defense attorney can greatly affect the sentencing process by showing the judge that their client has good character, is contrite, and takes responsibility for their actions.
The most important thing to do is to contact a good defense attorney as soon as you get charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree. This is a felony that could put you in state prison for years and give you a criminal record for the rest of your life. A good defense attorney will fight to get the charges dismissed or reduced. If that isn’t possible, they will fight to get a sentence that will not ruin their client’s life.
New York Penal Code 120.20: Reckless endangerment in the second degree
One who has knowingly put another person at the risk of serious bodily injury or harm, or has put one’s life at risk, could face the charges of reckless endangerment in the second degree. These legal charges should be assessed and evaluated by a legal professional, before the case goes in front of a judge. Reckless endangerment of the second degree is a lesser charge than reckless endangerment in the first degree, but it still carries a criminal title, along with consequences. It’s best to consult with a lawyer before talking with the authorities or anyone about the case.
Putting someone at the risk of a serious physical injury would mean the victim could have suffered death, severe disfigurement, and protracted impairment of health, loss of an organ, or the loss or loss of function of a body part. One can be charged even if these things didn’t happen to the victim, but if the scenario was a near miss, or if the possibility was a fear of the victims. The victim may be claiming that they have had mental stress and mental health issues because of the incident that took place.
This could mean using a gun irresponsibly, driving under the influence of alcohol or at high and dangerous speeds, or taking any unnecessary risk that could negatively affect someone else’s life besides their own. Leaving a child unattended or not giving the best guardianship to someone in your care could also be endangerment. Not all that are accused are guilty or charged, and there are a few things the lawyer can do to avoid the charges.
The lawyer may angle the case to show that the victim was encouraging the behavior, participating in the risky activities, or was active in the decision making that lead to the incident or accident. Showing that the alleged victim was aware of the risks and did not resist the action is important. Not only does a lawyer experienced with endangerment charges try to fight them, but to reduce the sentencing and punishments that are delivered after they are proven guilty.
One who is charged with reckless endangerment in the second degree will get a misdemeanor charge, not a felony, but there are other serious ramifications that proceed. One could end up serving a year of jail time, and they will have to be on probation. Probation has many limitations and requirements, and faltering on the legal expectations could lead to worse consequences. There is also the possibility to pay fines, do community service, and the charges will go on one’s criminal record and will be seen if someone does a background check.
With a reckless endangerment charge, it can become difficult or impossible to pursue a career as an educator, in some health occupations and more. Unfortunately people don’t always make the decisions, but one bad decision doesn’t have to cause extreme complications for the rest of your life if you get an attorney to help you with the charges sand the problems. An NYC criminal lawyer who has worked with endangerment cases and charges in the past is the best type of lawyer to hire for this type of case.It’s important to have only endangerment experts handling the ase, and compiling the evidence and information to have the best outcome for your case.
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