Reckless Endangerment

Reputable Birmingham Criminal Defense Attorney Dedicated to Defending Your Rights at Every Opportunity

Reckless endangerment is the Alabama crime making it illegal to engage in any type of conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. While prosecutors bring these cases regularly in a variety of situations, reckless endangerment charges are most often filed in relation to domestic violence cases, especially those involving children.

If you’ve been charged with recklessly endangering another person, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney at your side to protect your rights. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., our Birmingham reckless endangerment attorney has more than two decades of experience aggressively defending clients facing these serious charges. Attorney Jason Stoves will take a careful and systematic approach to creating a compelling defense in hopes of securing the best possible outcome.

What Is Reckless Endangerment under Alabama Law?

In Alabama, the crime of reckless endangerment is outlined in Alabama Code § 13A-6-24. This law provides that the offense occurs when a person recklessly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury. In this context, “serious physical injury” refers to any injury that creates a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or long-term and potentially life-altering injuries.

Examples of Reckless Endangerment

Prosecutors can bring reckless endangerment charges in a wide range of circumstances, some of which include:

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a passenger in the car.
  • Starting a physical fight in the presence of children.
  • Throwing objects violently about the house.
  • Letting a dangerous dog free or encouraging it to attack.
  • Leaving a child alone in a vehicle.
  • Firing a gun into the air.

What Is the Punishment for Reckless Endangerment?

Outside of the domestic violence context, reckless endangerment is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a possible punishment of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000. However, under Alabama Code § 13A-6-132, committing the offense of reckless endangerment against a family member or household member also constitutes a domestic violence offense. Specifically, domestic violence in the third degree.

Domestic violence in the third degree is also a Class A misdemeanor, which may initially appear as though there is little relevance that it’s a domestic violence offense. However, under § 13A-6-132, domestic violence offenses are punished more harshly. For example, if you have a prior conviction for domestic violence in the third degree, you’ll still face a Class A misdemeanor, but you will be subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of at least 10 days in jail. However, if your prior DV conviction is for domestic violence in the first or second degree, the current offense will become a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Similarly, if you have two prior domestic violence convictions, the reckless endangerment / domestic violence conviction becomes a Class C felony.

Defenses to Reckless Endangerment

Some of the defenses our Birmingham reckless endangerment lawyer regularly uses in these cases include:

  • Arguing that your actions were not reckless, given the circumstances;
  • Establishing that the incident was purely accidental and not due to reckless behavior;
  • Claiming that your actions were necessary to avoid a potentially greater harm;
  • Asserting that you were forced to act, either based on a threat or coercion; and
  • Challenging the credibility of the witnesses who reported the incident to police.

Regardless of the nature of your arrest, Attorney Jason Stoves has the knowledge, experience and skill needed to come up with a compelling defense to the allegations you’re facing.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a Birmingham Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

If you were recently charged with domestic violence reckless endangerment, it’s important you work with an attorney who will take your case as seriously as you do. At the Stoves Law Firm, P.C., we treat every client with the same level of care and compassion and fight equally hard to defend their freedom. We offer free consultations to all prospective clients, during which we will answer your questions, address your concerns, and explain what we will do to defend your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Stoves Law Firm, P.C. at (205) 823-7233, or you can connect with us through our secure online contact form.

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