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C.G.S. § 53a-64 – Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree

Overview

Reckless Endangerment C.G.S. § 53a-64 is the statutory citation for Connecticut's reckless endangerment law. Many acts that would constitute reckless endangerment also would be separate criminal violations, for example the illegal discharge of a firearm. Reckless endangerment in the second degree involves situations where the actor is alleged to have recklessly engaged in conduct that creates any risk of harm to another person.

Common examples include:

  • Committing a DUI with another passenger in your car
  • Discharging firearms
  • Unsafe storage of firearms
  • Extreme unsafe driving such as racing or evading police
  • Domestic violence incidents where weapons are brandished
Elements of the Offense that Must be Established by the State

To prove a violation of reckless endangerment in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64, the state's attorney must establish the following beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. The accused recklessly engaged in conduct that created the possibility of physical injury to someone else
Examples

A man leaves his cased shotgun in the backseat of his unlocked car while he is eating dinner at a restaurant. When the man returns, he discovers that the shotgun has been stollen and calls police. The man could be convicted for reckless endangerment in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64 because leaving a loaded firearm in his unlocked vehicle created a substantial risk of physical injury to others. If the weapon has been a handgun the man could have been charged in addition with a violation of Public Act 19-7 a/k/a "Ethan's Law"which prohibits leaving handguns unattended in a motor vehicle unless they are secured in the trunk, locked glove box or safe.

A man is speeding and a police officer tries to pull him over. The man disregards the policeman and takes off at a high rate while speed passing through several red lights. The man could be charged with reckless endangerment in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-64 because his reckless driving created substantial risk of physical injury to others. In addition, the man could be charged with reckless driving in violation of C.G.S. § 14-222 and several other traffic violations.

Related Offenses Defenses to Connecticut General Statutes C.G.S. § 53a-64 - Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree

The crime of reckless endangerment in the second degree requires proof of a reckless action. The state carries the burden to prove this element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. In many situations, people are prosecuted for reckless endangerment in the second degree in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-64 who may have only acted negligently or made a mistake. To act with the criminal state of mind of recklessness requires an awareness and conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustified risk.

In other circumstances we have been successful in convincing state's attorneys and judges that conduct that constituted reckless endangerment was an isolated and out of character episode. In many situations good people make a poor decision and our job is to put the focus on all the good aspects of your life and not the mistake that you made. A lot of reckless endangerment cases can be resolved through negotiations with the state that lead to a dismissal of the allegations in exchange for a charitable contribution or community service hours.

Many offenders with no criminal record could consider using a diversionary program such as the accelerated rehabilitation program . Diversionary programs can lead to a dismissal of all of the charges against you and would result in you having no criminal record.

Penalties

The penalty for a violation of C.G.S. § 64 - reckless endangerment in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Criminal Defense for Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree

If you have been arrested for reckless endangerment and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact our office for a free consultation to discuss your concerns either in office, by phone or video conference. We have local offices in Norwalk and Stamford.

Attorney Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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