The population of Bucks County is roughly 628,000. The district courts each year manage roughly 130,000 cases of all types. In 2017, the court received 8,723 new criminal cases, of which nearly 80% were misdemeanors.
Reckless Endangering Another Person (§ 2705)
In Pennsylvania, the charge of Reckless Endangering Another Person (REAP) is categorized under Chapter 27 among the assault offenses. It is engaging in reckless conduct that causes or may cause “another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.” It is a crime classified as a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of two years and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Determining Culpability (Fault)
Some of the elements of a REAP charge include that the individual's action was done knowingly, recklessly or with intent. When someone acts intentionally they are engaging in actions consciously. These actions require that the individual is aware of the circumstances that exist, or that “he believes or hopes that they exist.” When someone acts knowingly they are aware of the nature of their conduct or are “practically certain” of what the results of their conduct will be.
Behavior that is deemed reckless involves having conscious disregard for the risk that will result from conduct. Reckless conduct is considered to be that which is a “gross deviation” from what is a reasonable person would consider as appropriate or standard forms of conduct. The statutory provisions are clear that the defendant must comprehend the situation, knowingly engage, or blatantly disregard the risks they cause.
Actions That May Result in Reckless Endangerment Charges
Some of the types of actions that are commonly seen in cases of REAP include firing a weapon in proximity to others, hurling objects at passing cars, or operating a vehicle at dangerously high speeds. It is important to point out that another party does not necessarily need to be injured to commit a REAP offense. It is simply necessary that the actions could have resulted in serious bodily injury.
Serious Bodily Injury
These are injuries that have a significant chance of resulting in death, deformity, or impairment. For a defendant to be convicted of REAP, this likelihood of severe bodily injury must exist. The Pennsylvania courts have in the past clarified that “apparent ability to inflict harm” or “merely the apprehension of danger” is not sufficient.
Intermediate Punishment Program in Bucks County
Intermediate Punishment is an alternative to jail time that is generally used for non-violent offenders. Defendants must apply 30 days prior to their sentencing. There are many charges that make someone ineligible in Bucks County; however, REAP (§ 2705) is not among them. Some key aspects of the program include:
- The court will decide on the period of time that the defendant will be in the program
- Some requirements may include electronic house arrest, hours of community service, and treatment for drugs and/or alcohol
- Participants may be subject to drug and alcohol screening and/or behavioral counseling
- Participants that do not comply with the conditions will be remanded to the court
Do I Need an Attorney for Charges of Reckless Endangerment?
If you have been charged with REAP the courts may impose jail time and other significant penalties. It is critical that defendants retain seasoned legal counsel that is familiar with the Bucks County court system.
Criminal Defense Attorney in Bucks County
Attorney Joseph D. Lento aggressively represents clients who are facing criminal allegations. For a free evaluation of your case contact the office at (888) 535-3686 today.