What is Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree in NYC?
In New York, Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree, Penal Law Section 120.25, is a class D felony.
A person may be charged with Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree when a person:
“under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life, he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to another person.
A charge of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree is a class D felony. The maximum punishment for a First Degree Reckless Endangerment is 2 1/3 to 7 years, for a first felony conviction.
Retaining an experienced reckless endangerment attorney in NYC early on is crucial in achieving a favorable outcome in your case. Call us or contact us via live chat for a free, confidential consultation today.
Depraved Indifference to Human Life in First Degree Reckless Endangerment
New York Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree charges require allegations and proof that there was a grave risk of death to another person. However, far more is required to prove First Degree Reckless Endangerment. To prove the First Degree crime, there must also be proof that a person showed a depraved indifference to human life.
Depraved indifference to human life means that a: “person has an utter disregard for the value of human life – a willingness to act, not because he or she means to cause grievous harm, but because he or she simply does not care whether or not grievous harm will result. In other words, a person who is depravedly indifferent is not just willing to take a grossly unreasonable risk to human life—that person does not care how the risk turns out. Depraved indifference to human life reflects a wicked, evil or inhuman state of mind, as manifested by brutal, heinous and despicable acts. It is evinced by conduct that is wanton, deficient in a moral sense of concern, and devoid of regard for the life or lives of others.”
As stated, a showing of depraved indifference to human life if a very high standard. In 2006, the New York Court of Appeals case that declared that depraved indifference to human life is required to prove Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree involved a person who attempted to commit suicide in a Manhattan apartment by sealing the apartment door with tape, blowing out the pilot lights of the stove, turning on the gas, taking tranquilizers and falling asleep in front of the oven, expecting the gas to kill him.
Several hours later, a spark from the refrigerator compressor ignited the gas causing an explosion that wrecked the walls of his apartment and heavily damaged several neighboring apartments. The trial court found that the man did not have the mental state of depraved indifference to life. Ultimately, the man was convicted of Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree.
Sentences in First Degree Reckless Endangerment
Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree is a class D felony in New York. The minimum prison sentence is 1 to 3 1/2 years and the maximum is 2 1/3 to 7 years for a first felony conviction. However, prison is not required for a conviction of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree.
There are several non-prison sentencing possibilities including up to 5 years probation, if jail is not necessary to protect the public, the person convicted could benefit from training administered by the Department of Probation and such a sentence is not inconsistent with justice. Another sentencing possibility is a split sentence of up to 6 months in jail and up to 5 years probation. The sentence for a conviction of Reckless Endangerment in the First Degree depends on many factors including the allegations and the background of the person who was convicted.
Speak With a NYC Reckless Endangerment Attorney Today
If you or a loved one is charged with Reckless Endangerment in New York City, we’re here to help. Contacting a Reckless Endangerment lawyer early in your case is important. A knowledgeable and aggressive Reckless Endangerment lawyer may be able to have the charges completely dismissed based on the facts that are different in every case. In the alternative, a Reckless Endangerment lawyer may be able to negotiate a favorable bargain to a non-criminal outcome or a lesser charge.
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