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.

What is Reckless Endangerment in New York

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 09:20 am

What is Reckless Endangerment in New York?

Reckless endangerment refers to when someone engages in behavior that creates a substantial risk of serious injury or death to others. There are two degrees of reckless endangerment charges in New York – reckless endangerment in the first degree and reckless endangerment in the second degree. Let’s break down what each of these charges mean.

Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree

Under New York Penal Code Section 120.20, a person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when they:

  • Recklessly engage in conduct
  • Which creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person

So what does this mean? Basically, if you do something dangerous that could seriously hurt someone else, you could be charged with this crime.

Some examples of reckless endangerment in the second degree include:

  • Throwing objects off a tall building where people are below
  • Driving through a red light at high speed
  • Pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger, even if you think it’s not loaded

The key is that your actions create a substantial risk of serious injury, even if no one actually gets hurt.

What Makes it Reckless?

For this charge, New York law defines “reckless” as being aware that your conduct creates a substantial and unjustifiable risk of harm, but consciously disregarding that risk anyway[1].

It doesn’t matter if you intended to hurt anyone or not. The focus is on your actions and the potential consequences.

What is Serious Physical Injury?

Under New York law, “serious physical injury” means things like[2]:

  • Injury that creates a substantial risk of death
  • Loss of a body part or organ
  • Serious disfigurement

So we’re talking about really serious bodily harm here.

Possible Defenses

Some possible defenses to this charge include[5]:

  • No substantial risk of harm – For example, if the gun you pointed at someone wasn’t loaded.
  • No reckless conduct – You took reasonable precautions to avoid harm.
  • No awareness of risk – You were unaware of the risk due to things like mental disease or defect.


Reckless endangerment in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, potential penalties include[1]:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to 3 years probation
  • Fines up to $1,000

So while it’s not a felony, it’s still a criminal conviction with real consequences. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney can help minimize the penalties.

Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree

Reckless endangerment in the first degree is more serious. Under New York Penal Code Section 120.25, a person is guilty when:

  • Under circumstances showing a depraved indifference to human life
  • They recklessly engage in conduct
  • Which creates a grave risk of death to another person

The key difference here is the “depraved indifference to human life” part. This means you acted in an especially heinous, uncaring way that showed no regard for human life. Some examples include[3]:

  • Playing Russian roulette with someone else
  • Shooting into a crowd
  • Driving on the sidewalk at high speed

So the risk of death has to be really serious, and your mental state is especially negligent.

Possible Defenses

Some possible defenses here include[5]:

  • No depraved indifference – Your actions were reckless but not depraved.
  • No grave risk of death – The risk wasn’t as serious as the law requires.
  • No recklessness – You took reasonable precautions.


Because this is a class D felony, potential penalties are more severe[4]:

  • Up to 7 years in prison
  • Probation up to 5 years
  • Fines up to $5,000

So having an experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical if facing this charge. They can argue against the depraved indifference element and try to get the charges reduced.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

As you can see, reckless endangerment charges can lead to jail time and substantial legal penalties. But an experienced criminal defense attorney can help in several ways:

  • Evaluate the strength of the prosecution’s case. Do they actually have evidence of reckless conduct and serious risk of injury?
  • Identify weaknesses in the charges and build an aggressive defense. For example, argue there was no real risk of harm.
  • Negotiate with the prosecution to get charges reduced or dismissed. Prosecutors often overcharge at first.
  • Advocate for minimal penalties if charges can’t be avoided. There’s a big difference between probation vs years in prison.

So don’t go through this alone. Get experienced legal help right away if facing reckless endangerment charges in New York. It could make all the difference in avoiding jail time and getting your life back.


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, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~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!