In 2017, there were roughly 7,667 new criminal cases received by Delaware County. Approximately 2,396 of these cases were felonies and 5,264 were misdemeanors. When facing allegations of committing a criminal offense it is strongly suggested that they consult with an attorney that is regularly involved in this realm of legal practice.
Reckless Endangering Another Person (§ 2705)
Pennsylvania law defines the charge of Reckless Endangering Another Person (REAP) as when someone engages in reckless conduct that causes or may place “another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.” The crime is a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by up to two years of incarceration and a maximum fine of up to $5,000.
When Are Actions Reckless?
The Pennsylvania courts have clarified the meaning of reckless conduct on many occasions. The actions may include the following:
- Conduct that is done consciously that demonstrates no regard for the risk it poses to others
- Is behavior that a reasonable person would determine to be inappropriate because it grossly deviates from standards
- Reckless actions are knowingly committed despite the strong likelihood that they may result in significant danger to others
Firearm Involvement in Reckless Endangerment Cases
The state is required to prove that a defendant in a REAP case had an actual ability to inflict severe harm. In Commonwealth v. Ramos, the Superior Court deemed that a BB gun was capable of inflicting serious bodily injuries or death. It is important to know that merely firing a weapon is not sufficient to prove reckless endangerment. An example may include that the defendant only fired a single shot straight into the air. Typically, when a firearm is involved it must at least be proven that it was discharged in proximity to someone.
Probable Cause in Domestic Violence
This involves the scenario of when a law enforcement officer responds to the scene of a potential incident of violence among members of a household or family. If they have reasonable grounds to believe that a suspect has committed a REAP offense, they may arrest the suspect. This applies when the officer recognizes that a recent injury exists or other supporting evidence.
Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD)
Pennsylvania law allows counties to employ an alternative or diversionary program for certain defendants known as the ARD program. In Delaware County, this is generally appropriate for first-time offenders whose actions did not result in the victim incurring physical injuries. The offenders are required to complete a defined set of requirements and conditions over a period of time. Those who successfully complete the program are eligible to have their offense dismissed without having a criminal record.
How Your Attorney May Benefit You in Criminal Cases
Your criminal defense lawyer may assist you by reaching a possible plea agreement. Delaware County has drafted Local Rules on Plea Agreements for their cases. Often your attorney may advise you of an option where you will plead guilty to a charge. For example, perhaps they have reached an agreement with the prosecution that allows you to plead guilty to lesser charges. A defendant is required to sign a form acknowledging their acceptance of the plea in the presence of their attorney and may be required to affirm this in court.
Experienced Delaware County Defense Lawyer
Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients facing criminal allegations in Delaware County. He will assess the facts and evidence involved in your case to develop a comprehensive defense strategy. Contact the office today at (888) 535-3686 for a consultation.