Reckless endangerment is when a person commits an act with awareness that his or her conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person and consciously disregarded that risk. Contrary to popular belief, causing an actual injury to another person or causing another person’s death is not necessary to support a charge of reckless endangerment. However, if there is an injury or death involved, the person who committed the act need not have actually intended for the injury or death to occur. The accused must have acted recklessly and not merely carelessly or as result of an accident, mistake, or an honest error of judgment. See Md. Code Criminal Law Ann. 3-204.
What is the Standard for Recklessness?
The standard for determining whether person’s conduct was reckless is both subjective and objective. It is different from the standard used in traditional negligence.
The Objective Standard
The objective standard for recklessness looks at the risk of injury or death to another person caused by the accused. Under the objective standard for recklessness, the risk involved must have been objectively substantial, amounting to a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable, law-abiding person would have followed under similar circumstances.
The Subjective Standard
The subjective standard for recklessness, on the other hand, looks at the state of mind of the accused. Under the subjective standard for recklessness, the accused must have known or been aware that his or her conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person and consciously disregarded that risk.
What is the Maximum Possible Penalty for Reckless Endangerment?
Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor criminal offense which carries a maximum possible penalty of up to five years of active incarceration and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Baltimore County, MD Reckless Endangerment Attorney
Being accused of reckless endangerment is a criminal matter that should be taken extremely seriously because of the possible consequences if found guilty and convicted. Contact our office to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Baltimore County, MD criminal defense attorney if you have been charged with reckless endangerment. During your free consultation at our Towson, MD office, our principal attorney will discuss the specific facts of your case with you, explore possible defenses to the charge, and explain how to possibly avoid a conviction altogether or at least minimize the consequences of a conviction if you are found guilty of reckless endangerment.