What You Need to Know About Reckless Endangerment
By definition, reckless endangerment occurs when a person engages in conduct that is wrongful and reckless or deliberate, and likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm to another person. Essentially, reckless endangerment creates a significant risk of injury or death, whether or not it is intentional. Although California does not have a specific “reckless endangerment” law, it imposes enhanced legal penalties for defendants who allegedly acted recklessly in the commission of their reported crime.
Such crimes involving reckless endangerment include:
- DUI with a child passenger under 14 years old
- Child endangerment
- Elder abuse
- Reckless driving
- Brandishing a firearm or deadly weapon
If you acted recklessly in the commission of your alleged crime, then you may suffer harsher punishments such as increased charges involving steep fines and lengthy jail time. A misdemeanor offense can easily be enhanced to a felony if the prosecution proves that you recklessly endangered another person.
For instance, acts that constitute reckless endangerment include:
- Shooting a gun in your backyard to show off to your friends
- Throwing objects at a house
- Slashing tires
- Leaving a loaded weapon near a child
- Failing to give medication to an elder
- Leaving a child in a locked car on a hot day
- Failing to post a “wet floor” sign in a store
- Street racing
- Texting while driving
- DUI with passengers in the car, especially children
- Not disclosing STDs to your sexual partner
- Letting a child play with sharp or otherwise dangerous objects
To determine whether you acted recklessly, prosecutors must prove that you intentionally acted in a way that created a high risk of harm or death, your conduct created unreasonable harm and you knew or should have known your actions would create a risk. In addition, you may be evaluated by both a subjective and objective test, which are legal standards to evaluate a defendant’s knowledge and perceptions.
Subjective tests measure your mindsight and knowledge at the time of the incident while objective tests determine whether a reasonable person with the same abilities and consciousness would act in the way you allegedly did. With this in mind, it is understandable that determining recklessness is far from straightforward, which is why our Fresno criminal defense attorney will challenge every element of the prosecution’s case against you.
Thus, if you have criminal charges against you, we strongly advise you to contact The Law Office of Brian C. Andritch at (559) 484-2112 as soon as possible so we can begin analyzing the facts of your case. We have your back.