Reckless endangerment is a crime that can encompass a variety of actions and because it has such a general definition it is commonly used by criminal defense lawyers to negotiate downward from a more serious crime. But it is without a doubt an extremely serious offense, and a conviction, even for a first time offender, can often result in jail time. There are often alleged victims in theses types of cases, and these victims will often be in the state's ear asking for harsher plea offers, and sentences from the judge upon conviction. This charge is far too serious to try to fight without an experience and skilled criminal defense lawyer in your corner. Benjamin Herbst has handled this charge numerous times, and is prepared to take on the state, law enforcement, and even the alleged victims at trial. Contact Benjamin at The Herbst Firm for a free consultation about your case.
State law makes it a crime for any person to engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another person. A violation of this statue is a misdemeanor with a maximum prison sentence of 5 years, and a maximum fine of $5,000. The statute does not offer detailed descriptions of certain conduct but can include such actions as aggressive and reckless driving, throwing of objects, inciting violence, tampering with heavy machinery, and even setting of explosive devices.
Reckless endangerment specifically includes the act of discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of death or serious injury to another person. This type of reckless endangerment does not apply to security guards or law enforcement officers acting in the lawful performance of their duties. Other exceptions from the law include the manufacture, production, or sale of a product or commodity. There are certain defenses to this charge that are available to a defendant, many of which are are similar to the defenses for assault in Maryland. A lawyer may assert that a defendant charged with this offense acted in defense of a crime of violence. If the defendant presents evidence that he or she acted in defense of a crime of violence, the prosecutor must then prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not.
Anyone charged with reckless endangerment is entitled to a bill of particulars, which details the exact time and place that the crime is alleged to have occurred, and the details of the alleged illegal actions. If the prosecutor cannot produce specific information as to the crime charged, then the attorney may have grounds to file a motion to dismiss the charges. Because this crime can include a variety of conduct, and because the law is so general, police often abuse it and wrongfully charge defendants all the time. We have seen it happen in the past, and it will continue to happen unless the law changes. If you or a loved one is being investigated or has been charged with this offense contact us anytime, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.