Prince George’s County Reckless Endangerment Lawyer
Reckless endangerment may be committed in a number of ways in PG County. Even if someone acts with no intent to harm others, they may face criminal charges that carry the potential for a substantial prison sentence and a heavy fine. In addition, a conviction creates a criminal record that can cause difficulties with prospective employers, landlords, and others.
If you are facing charges of reckless endangerment, a Prince George’s County reckless endangerment lawyer could help you fight the charges and minimize the negative consequences. A criminal defense lawyer familiar with the prosecution of reckless endangerment could help you move toward a positive outcome.
Penalties for a Reckless Endangerment Conviction
Even when the allegedly reckless conduct does not result in any injuries, reckless endangerment is still treated as a serious offense. Although the law classifies reckless endangerment as a misdemeanor, the potential penalties are more severe than those provided for many felonies.
Anyone convicted of reckless endangerment may be sentenced to up to five years in prison. Furthermore, they may also be required to pay a fine of up to $5,000. However, a skilled PG County reckless endangerment lawyer could help an accused person build a credible defense.
Two Forms of Reckless Endangerment
Md. Code, Crim. Law 3-204 describes two different ways someone can commit a reckless endangerment violation. Both are penalized in the same manner.
Conduct Creating a Substantial Risk
Under subsection (a)(1) of the statute, a person will be considered guilty of a violation if they commit an action or actions that could cause serious physical harm or death to another person. The conduct must create a “substantial risk” of causing such harm.
Moreover, in order to be guilty, the person taking actions that pose a risk of harm must engage in such action “recklessly.” This does not mean that the person had any intention of causing harm. Rather, it means that they acted in disregard of the fact that there was a great likelihood their actions could injure others.
Firing a Gun from a Car
The second description of reckless endangerment outlined in the statute involves firing a gun from a car or other motor vehicle. When someone discharges a weapon from a vehicle in a way that creates a “substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another,” they may be found guilty of a violation of subsection (a)(2) of the statute.
Defenses to Reckless Endangerment Charges
The statute describes specific situations that will not be considered a violation of the reckless endangerment statute. For instance, reckless conduct involving a motor vehicle is usually not charged under this statute, unless a firearm is involved.
In addition, someone firing a gun from a vehicle in self-defense or as part of their official security or law enforcement duties will also be excepted under the statute. An experienced defense attorney could analyze the circumstances to determine other substantive and procedural arguments to raise in defense.
Let a Prince George’s County Reckless Endangerment Attorney Assist You
People act recklessly all the time without considering the consequences. It may seem unfair that such unintentional acts could subject you to severe criminal penalties, but lawmakers trying to legislate safety in an unpredictable world often overreach the boundaries of rationality. As a result, people may be charged with serious crimes in situations where such charges are not warranted.
Regardless of the circumstances, if you are charged with reckless endangerment, you need to take the charges seriously and act decisively to protect your rights and your future. A Prince George’s County reckless endangerment lawyer could provide advice and representation throughout the process to help you reach the best available result. To learn your options, call now for a consultation.