Frederick Reckless Endangerment Lawyer
While reckless endangerment is a serious charge, it is possible to commit an act that falls within the statute unknowingly. This offense does not require the intent to harm anyone. Instead, reckless endangerment occurs when a person recklessly disregards the risk of injury to another.
The fact that this crime does not require intent does not mean the consequences are not steep. If convicted, you could face substantial jail time, fines, and other ramifications. A seasoned criminal defense attorney could advise you on how these charges could impact your life.
If you are facing reckless endangerment charges, your success at trial could depend in part on your choice of legal counsel. A Frederick reckless endangerment lawyer could work with you to obtain a positive outcome in your case.
Understanding the Crime of Reckless Endangerment
To understand the crime of reckless endangerment, it is necessary to first understand the definition of “reckless” under the law. This is because reckless can be a relative term. According to state law, a person acts recklessly when they create a substantial risk of serious injury or death to another person. If a reasonable person would have avoided such behavior, the courts could find it to be reckless.
The crime of reckless endangerment is covered by Maryland Criminal Code Section 3-204. Under this statute, there two ways a person could commit the crime of reckless endangerment. The first way is a catch-all provision targeting a wide range of behavior. Specifically, it is unlawful to engage in any reckless action that creates a substantial risk of death or severe injury.
The second prong of the statute is narrower. This section specifically outlaws discharging a firearm from within a motor vehicle in a way that could cause death or serious injury.
There are several exceptions to this statue. Many of these exceptions exist because other statutes cover a more specific type of reckless behavior. For example, the reckless use of a motor vehicle is exempt from this statute because it is outlawed elsewhere in the Code. There are other important exceptions, including the acts of on-duty law enforcement officers. A Frederick attorney could advise someone accused of reckless endangerment if there are any exceptions that could apply in their case.
Consequences of a Reckless Endangerment Conviction
Anyone found guilty at trial of reckless endangerment could face significant repercussions. While reckless endangerment is technically a misdemeanor under state law, the possible penalties are closer to what most states treat as felonies. A conviction could lead to a maximum prison term of five years in addition to a fine of no more than $5,000. The court also has the power to order a combination of the two.
There are other repercussions that can come with a conviction, known as collateral consequences. While not formal penalties written into the law, these consequences are still significant. They could include difficulty finding a job or maintaining housing. A reckless endangerment conviction could also have a negative impact on parental rights. With the help of a Frederick attorney, a defendant could avoid a reckless endangerment conviction and the penalties that come with it.
Speak with a Frederick Reckless Endangerment Attorney
Reckless endangerment is a serious charge with steep consequences. It is important to remember, however, that these consequences only occur upon conviction. If you beat the charges against you, there will be no punishment under the law.
With the right legal counsel, prevailing at trial could be possible. Call a Frederick reckless endangerment lawyer to learn more.