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Reckless Endangerment

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Reckless endangerment occurs when a person recklessly does an action that causes a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another person.

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Reckless endangerment is a criminal offense in which an individual recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or grievous bodily harm to another individual. Neither death nor grievous bodily harm actually have to have been inflicted on another person for reckless endangerment to be proven. The term reckless is seen as a blatant disregard of foreseeable consequences to other individuals. The individual does not have to have intentionally been reckless with the purpose to cause harm to be accused of reckless endangerment. The punishment of reckless endangerment can be either a misdemeanor or felony, if a deadly weapon is involved.

In those situations that are deemed to be reckless endangerment, individuals perform an action that is dangerous without thought of the potential consequences of such action. An example would be shooting a bullet in a gun into the air. The individual does not need to have the initial intent to harm or kill another individual for the action to be considered reckless endangerment, however, if the individual knew that their action could cause harm to others and choose to conduct that activity anyway that action is considered reckless. So, as the individual was not shooting at an individual but in the air, there was no intent to harm or kill. However, the individual shot in the air with the knowledge that the bullet has the potential to harm or kill an individual but did not consider these consequences prior to shooting the gun. This would still constitute reckless endangerment. In the case of using a gun, the individual would likely be punished with a felony count as a deadly weapon was involved, even without the intent to harm or kill.

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