Reckless endangerment

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Reckless endangerment is any act, or series of acts, that separately or together put another person in "substantial risk of serious personal injury."[1]

The accused person isn't required to intend the resulting or potential harm, but must have acted in a way that showed a disregard for the foreseeable consequences of the actions. The charge may occur in various contexts, such as, among others, domestic cases, car accidents, construction site accidents, testing sites, domestic/child abuse situations, and hospital abuse. State laws and penalties vary, so local laws should be consulted.

Thus the elements of reckless endangerment are:

  1. Substantial risk of:
  2. Physical injury,
  3. That is, or could be, life-threatening or similarly grave,
  4. As a consequence of the acts of the accused,
  5. Which consequence the accused ought to have foreseen.

If the accused intended the injury, the more serious charge of assault with intent to harm or even assault with intent to commit murder would then apply.


  1. Reckless endangerment defined by Retrieved 10 January 2015.