NY Penal Law § 120.20: Reckless Endangerment In The Second Degree

by ECL Writer
What Is A Criminal Complaint?

It is illegal to act in a reckless manner that puts other people’s lives at risk. If you do, you may face a charge of reckless endangerment. New York Penal Code § 15.05(3) defines acting recklessly as being aware of a risk that an action may cause another person a serious injury and consciously ignoring that risk. For example, driving at high speeds through a residential area is reckless. Throwing a bottle out of the window of a high-rise apartment building is reckless. Whether or not your intent is to harm another person is not relevant. The court will instead consider your actions and the actual or potential results.  There are 2 degrees of severity of reckless endangerment crimes. The less serious crime is reckless endangerment in the second degree.

Under New York Penal Code § 120.20 you will face a charge of reckless endangerment in the second degree if you recklessly engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. A “serious physical injury” is defined in the criminal code as a physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death, that causes death, that causes a serious disfigurement, that causes a protracted impairment of health, or that causes the loss or impairment of a function of any bodily organ.

Defenses

Courts have found “factual impossibility” to be a valid defense to a charge of reckless endangerment in the second degree. If you can show that your action, while it may have appeared to have placed others at risk, in reality, did not. For example, if a gun is pointed at a crowd of people and the trigger is pulled, but the gun was not loaded or was somehow otherwise rendered inoperable, then there was never a substantial risk of death.

Sentence

Because reckless endangerment in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor if convicted you could spend up to a year in jail. It is also possible that the judge may sentence you to a probation term of 3 years. In addition, the judge may require that you pay a fine of up to $1,000.

New York Penal Code § 120.20: Reckless Endangerment In The Second Degree

A person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when he recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person.

Talk To A Lawyer

Reckless endangerment in the second degree is a serious offense in New York that can have significant legal and personal consequences. If you are facing charges related to this offense, it is important to seek legal guidance from an experienced attorney.

A skilled attorney can help you understand the charges you are facing, review the evidence against you, and work to build a strong defense strategy for your case. They can negotiate with prosecutors, represent you in court, and work to protect your rights and future.

Reckless endangerment in the second degree can result in severe penalties, including imprisonment and fines. Additionally, a criminal record can impact your ability to find employment, secure housing, and obtain professional licenses. It can also damage your reputation and relationships with friends and family.

If you are facing charges related to reckless endangerment in the second degree in New York, it is important to take action and protect your rights. Talk to a lawyer with experience in criminal defense to understand your options and develop a strong defense strategy for your case.

With the right legal guidance and support, you can navigate this difficult situation and move forward with your life. A knowledgeable attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome in your case and minimize the impact on your future

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