The purpose of the reckless endangerment statute is to deter the commission of potentially harmful conduct before an injury or death occurs. To act recklessly is to disregard a substantial risk. The test is whether the accused’s misconduct, viewed objectively, was so reckless as to constitute a gross departure from the standard of conduct that a law-abiding person would observe, and thereby created the substantial risk that the statute was designed to punish.
Elements of the Offense
In order to secure a conviction for reckless endangerment in Maryland, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant either: (1) engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another or (2) discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.
The statute does not apply to a law enforcement officer or security guard acting in the performance of an official duty or to an individual acting in self-defense against a crime of violence.
A person who is convicted of this offense is subject to imprisonment of up to 5 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000. Maryland Code Ann., CR § 3-204.