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Reckless Endangerment

It’s New Year’s Eve. At midnight, you pull out your gun and fire a few rounds into the air in celebration. You may not realize it, but you just committed a crime called reckless endangerment. Malicious intent is not required to be charged with this crime. It’s possible to be charged with reckless endangerment for making an honest mistake.

If you are facing reckless endangerment charges, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An attorney familiar with the complexities of New York’s laws can help you fight the charges. You may be able to avoid legal penalties such as imprisonment, probation, and a permanent criminal record. 

Defense Attorney for Reckless Endangerment in Long Island, NY

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has years of experience defending people just like you. It can be difficult to understand why you’re even being charged. It is much more difficult to defend against the charges yourself. Attorney Stephanie Selloni is passionate about protecting the rights of her clients. She offers a free consultation to review the details of your case.

Contact the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni today by calling (516) 972-1212. You can also reach the firm by filling out a quick online form. Stephanie will set up a time to discuss your case and identify the best way to proceed. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents Long Island clients in Garden City, Riverstead, Mineola, and other communities across Nassau and Suffolk County. 

Overview of Reckless Endangerment in Garden City, NY

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Definition of Reckless Endangerment in Suffolk County, NY

A person commits reckless endangerment when they take action that could result in death or serious physical injury to another person. It does not matter if you knew the potential consequences of your actions. It also doesn’t matter that you didn’t intend to put another person at risk. The charge is based on the potential results rather than the actual results of your actions. Reckless endangerment can be charged even if no death or serious physical injury occurred.

Reckless endangerment is divided into two degrees of severity. Second-degree reckless endangerment is the lesser of the two charges, but penalties are still steep. First-degree reckless endangerment is a much more serious felony charge.

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Second Degree Reckless Endangerment in Garden City, NY

Second-degree reckless endangerment is described by New York Penal Law 120.20. This crime is committed when a person puts another person at risk of serious physical injury. Serious physical injury is defined as injury which: 

  • creates a significant risk of death;
  • causes death;
  • causes serious long-term disfigurement;
  • causes long-term health impairment; or
  • causes long-term loss or impairment of any bodily function. 

Leaving an open container of harmful chemicals within reach of a small child is an example of second-degree reckless endangerment. Another example of this crime is riding a dirt bike through a grocery store (which recently happened in Schenectady).

Reckless endangerment in the second degree is charged as a class A misdemeanor. You could be sentenced to a maximum of one year in jail. Alternatively, you may be sentenced to three years of probation with strict guidelines. The court may also order you to complete up to 200 hours of community service. You could also be fined up to $1,000 as additional punishment. If you caused financial harm as a result of your alleged reckless act, you may be ordered to pay restitution to the victim. 

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First Degree Reckless Endangerment in Nassau County, NY

Reckless endangerment in the first degree is a class D felony under New York Penal Law 120.25. A person breaks this law when they engage in morally corrupt conduct that puts another person at risk of dying. To prove this law was violated, it must be shown that the accused was indifferent to the lives of others. Just as with second-degree reckless endangerment, it does not matter that the conduct did not result in death. The mere possibility of another person dying as a result of the conduct is grounds for the charge. 

An example of first-degree reckless endangerment is firing a gun at the floor of your apartment with other residents housed in the unit below. You could also be charged for this crime if you set fire to a house while people are inside. 

A first-degree reckless endangerment conviction could result in a maximum seven-year prison sentence. The sentence depends on a number of variables, including whether you have a prior criminal record. If a felony reckless endangerment charge is your first conviction, you could receive five years of probation.

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Additional Resources

Reckless endangerment in the second degree | NY Senate – The New York Senate publishes an electronic version of New York’s penal laws on its official website. Here you can read the full text of the law governing second-degree reckless endangerment. The law includes the definition of the crime as well as the type and degree of the offense.

First-Degree Reckless Endangerment Jury Instructions | NY Courts – The New York State Unified Court System provides a jury instruction sheet for reckless endangerment of the first degree. This document is used by jurors during a trial to help determine whether a defendant meets the criteria necessary for a conviction. View this document for a concise overview of first-degree reckless endangerment and definitions of its associated terms. 

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Defense Lawyer for Reckless Endangerment in Long Island, NY

Maybe you made a mistake. You never imagined you’d put someone else at risk of serious injury or death. But if you’re facing reckless endangerment charges in the first or second degree, or another violent crime, you should speak to a defense attorney immediately. It may be a misunderstanding that can be resolved with the assistance of a trained legal professional.

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni is here to help. Call (516) 972-1212 or fill out the online form to schedule your free consultation. Attorney Stephanie Selloni fights aggressively to achieve the best outcomes for her Long Island clients. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents clients from Garden City, Floral Park, Glen Oaks, or anywhere else in Nassau County or Suffolk County. Stephanie will review the details of your situation to identify any weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you. When possible, she will move for reduction or dismissal of charges. Call now to get started on your defense.

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