Carroll County Reckless Endangerment Lawyer
People in Carroll County frequently carry out actions that constitute reckless endangerment without being aware that they have committed a crime. When someone undertakes an act that places others in danger, they may be found guilty of reckless endangerment even if no one suffers the least harm.
While the offense may be committed easily and unintentionally, the penalties can be severe. So, if you are facing allegations of reckless endangerment, it is essential to make sure you understand the potential ramifications.
A Carroll County reckless endangerment lawyer could work to protect your rights and explain your options for defense. When you work with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer who understands reckless endangerment, you may feel confident that you are taking the right steps toward a positive outcome.
Defining Reckless Endangerment
Conduct one person would consider reckless might be regarded as perfectly reasonable by another person’s standards. In an attempt to find an objective benchmark for reckless endangerment, courts first consider the statutory definition.
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law §3-204, a violation occurs when someone acts “recklessly” and in a way that “creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.” One standard courts have used for determining whether someone acted recklessly is to consider whether a “reasonable person” would have taken such action under the circumstances.
Another factor courts may consider is whether the person taking action was aware that the conduct they engaged in could create a risk of serious injury or death and chose to disregard that risk deliberately.
Two Versions of Reckless Endangerment
The statute defines two different means of committing reckless endangerment. If someone discharges a firearm from a vehicle recklessly and in a manner creating a significant risk of serious physical injury or death, that constitutes a violation of Md. Code, Crim. Law §3-204(a)(2).
Reckless endangerment may also be committed under less defined circumstances. If someone engages in any “conduct” that raises a considerable risk of causing death or serious physical harm to another, that conduct is considered a violation of Md. Code, Crim. Law §3-204(a)(1).
Potential Penalties for Reckless Endangerment
Those found guilty of violating the reckless endangerment statute may be sentenced to up to five years of imprisonment even though the crime is officially labeled a misdemeanor. In addition, anyone convicted may be required to pay a fine of up to $5,000.
Besides the criminal penalties, those found guilty will also suffer the consequences that come along with any criminal conviction. It may be more difficult to obtain housing, land the right job, or even engage in certain volunteer activity when a criminal conviction appears on the record. With the ease of electronic access to records, all criminal activity may be visible to casual observers, even without a conviction.
How a Carroll County Reckless Endangerment Attorney Can Help
A reckless endangerment charge should be taken seriously but should not provide cause for despair. There are several arguments and strategies that may be used to defend against charges involving this offense. For instance, reckless endangerment charges often arise in situations involving the use of firearms, and it may be possible to demonstrate that use was reasonable for self-defense or other reasons.
An experienced Carroll County reckless endangerment lawyer could analyze the circumstances of your case to devise the best defensive strategy. In addition, a dedicated defense attorney could provide advice and serve as your advocate at all stages of the process to help you reach the best available outcome. To get started on your defense, call now for a consultation.