Reckless Endangerment in Maryland

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.