In 2017, there were a reported 8,680 new criminal cases in Montgomery County. Approximately 2,454 of these were associated with felony charges and 6,221 were misdemeanor offenses. Montgomery County is among the most progressive counties in Pennsylvania in terms of handling criminal matters. For example, they now have a designated Behavioral Health Court, a Drug Court, and a Veterans Court program.
Reckless Endangerment of Another Person (REAP)
REAP is an offense that occurs when an individual's reckless action puts or may put someone in danger of significant bodily injury or death. The charge is considered as a misdemeanor criminal offense of the second-degree. The penalties that may be imposed include up to two years of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000.
Behavior that the state defines as being reckless involves having conscious disregard for the danger that will result from conduct. Reckless conduct is that which is a “gross deviation” from what is a reasonable individual would consider as appropriate or standard forms of behavior. The statutory provisions are clear that the defendant must understand the situation, engage in it knowingly, or blatantly disregard the potential risk.
What is Serious Bodily Injury?
The state considers serious bodily injury as one that has a significant risk of being fatal, resulting in disfigurement, or loss of function to an organ or another body part. As it pertains to REAP, the courts have stated that merely the possibility of creating harm is not sufficient. The defendant's conduct must be such that creates a real danger.
If you are charged with REAP you will have a preliminary arraignment before a judge in court. You will be provided with a formal criminal complaint that outlines the charges. You will be informed of your right to a preliminary hearing that will follow. It is strongly suggested that you consult with legal counsel at this point.
Montgomery County Local Rules Regarding Expungement
The County has Local Rule 722 the outlines the process for expungement of a criminal record as follows:
- A petition is to be filed containing your contact information, the crime(s) involved, and a reason for potential expungement
- Upon filing the petition with the Clerk of Courts, you should obtain a Rule Returnable
- If needed, the Court Administrator may set a hearing date where the court may produce evidence if in opposition to the expungement
- If the expungement is granted, the Clerk of Courts will provide the copies necessary for notifying other agencies
Choosing Legal Representation
In these and other criminal matters, you should retain experienced defense counsel to represent you. It is possible that your attorney may negotiate a plea agreement to resolve the case if in your best interest. This will be a solution that is mutually acceptable to you and the court and avoids the need to proceed with further preparation for a trial.
Defense Lawyer for Criminal Offenses in Montgomery County
Joseph D. Lento is a seasoned criminal defense attorney that represents clients in the Pennsylvania court system. The process will likely involve carefully reviewing the facts and evidence in order to create a customized strategy of defense. Contact the office today for a case evaluation at (888) 535-3686.