New York State makes a point to create laws that protect its citizens from those who wish to put others at substantial risk of serious injury or death. The specific law that relates to this is reckless endangerment and is either a misdemeanor or class D felony. While in its lower charge it is only charged as a misdemeanor, it is still an incredibly serious charge and should not be taken lightly. If you are charged with reckless endangerment in the first degree, the sentencing options become even more serious and can almost automatically mean time served. If you find yourself facing these charges, in either degree, call our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys now to discuss what options are available in obtaining a favorable outcome.
Reckless Endangerment in the second degree is when a person has recklessly engaged in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. In the terms of this statute, serious physical injury means a person’s physical condition has been impaired in such a way that creates a substantial risk of death, serious disfigurement or impairment of health or function of any bodily organ. To fulfill the requirements, the offender must also act recklessly, meaning that they are acting in such a way that creates substantial and unjustifiable risk or injury to another person, when they are aware of those risks and when the risk is of such a degree that it is considered a divergence from standard conduct a reasonable person would engage in.
Becoming a class D felony charge, reckless endangerment in the first degree is when a person has recklessly engaged in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person. Similar to above, the offender must have engaged in conduct which creates an unjustifiable risk that another person’s death will occur as a direct result of their conduct. The offender must be aware of these risks and be shown to have consciously disregarded them. For this level of the offense to be proven in court, the prosecutor must also prove that the offender acted under circumstances that showed a depraved indifference to human life.
Depraved indifference to human life is the state of mind of the person acting. They are considered to be in this state of mind when they act with utter disregard for the value of human life, meaning they are willing to act because they do not care if grievous harm to another person will be caused by their actions. Essentially, the court must prove the mental state of the offender at the time of the offense was inhumane, as such they acted in such a way that was despicable, brutal and heinous.
If you find yourself charged with reckless endangerment in either degree, our experienced team of New York criminal attorneys are here to discuss your case with you. There are options in handling the charges to make sure the best possible outcome is achieved for the accused and our team is ready to work with you on formulating that defense.