Cecil County Reckless Endangerment Lawyer
When people in Cecil County act recklessly or dangerously, they often have no intent to cause harm to others. But if someone believes that others could suffer due to that conduct, then a charge of criminal reckless endangerment may result. This is a serious crime with penalties that could include years of imprisonment and a substantial fine.
To understand the charges and how to fight them, it advisable to consult a Cecil County reckless endangerment lawyer. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could explain the laws involved, evaluate your options for defense, and advocate on your behalf to help reach an affirmative conclusion.
What the Law Says About Reckless Endangerment
As a Cecil County attorney can further explain, reckless endangerment is usually charged as a violation of Md. Code, Crim. Law §3-204. This statute forbids two forms of reckless behavior. First, in §3-204(a)(1), the statute prohibits recklessly engaging in “conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.”
The second form of prohibited conduct in §3-204(a)(2) of the statute occurs when someone discharges a firearm from a car or other motor vehicle in such a way that it “creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.”
The statute specifies that the general prohibition against reckless conduct in subsection (a)(1) does not apply to reckless conduct with motor vehicles or reckless conduct in manufacturing. Moreover, the prohibition in subsection (a)(2) will not be applied when someone is acting in self-defense or while a security guard or law enforcement officer is performing official duties.
The statutory definition of reckless endangerment is somewhat vague regarding what constitutes reckless conduct. Neither the statute nor court interpretations of the statute require someone to be acting with intent to cause harm in order to be guilty. In this respect, this offense different from many other crimes.
Lawmakers sought to prevent serious injuries or death by prohibiting conduct perceived to pose an unnecessary danger to others. But when a risk of death or serious physical injury becomes “substantial” may be a matter open to interpretation.
Some examples of situations which could constitute reckless endangerment include:
- Throwing rocks or other objects at moving vehicles
- Leaving loaded firearms in an unlocked location where children could access them
- Tossing heavy objects off the roof of a building
- Discharging a gun in a place where people are likely to be found
- Carrying a loaded firearm without a safety mechanism in a manner allowing for accidental discharge
In addition, reckless endangerment charges are often issued in connection with drug overdose situations. Someone facing reckless endangerment charges in Cecil County is encouraged to contact a seasoned attorney.
Possible Penalties for Reckless Endangerment
Those convicted of reckless endangerment will be considered guilty of a misdemeanor. However, the penalties are as severe as those issued for felonies in other jurisdictions.
An individual may be sentenced to up to five years of imprisonment for reckless endangerment. Furthermore, the court may impose a fine of up to $5,000 in lieu of or in addition to the term of imprisonment. To learn more about the potential penalties associated with a specific reckless endangerment case, schedule a consultation with a Cecil County lawyer.
Reach Out to a Cecil County Reckless Endangerment Attorney Today
Evidence may prove crucial in building the best possible defense strategy in a reckless endangerment case. So, it is vital to collect evidence as soon as possible after an incident.
An experienced Cecil County reckless endangerment lawyer could assist with investigation to find the best available evidence and preserve evidence, so it is ready when needed. Furthermore, a skilled defense lawyer could work to protect your rights and to minimize the negative consequences.
To find out more about how a defense attorney could fight your reckless endangerment charges, call now for a consultation.