At Chopra Criminal Defense, a criminal recklessness defense attorney will help you keep your record clean. Call (812) 671-0103 for a free virtual consultation.

Legal Help for Bloomington Criminal Recklessness Charges

Under Indiana Code 35-42-2-2, criminal recklessness involves a person who “recklessly, knowingly, or intentionally performs an act that creates substantial risk of bodily injury to another person.” This may be a crime whether or not someone gets hurt.

Examples of Criminal Recklessness

Criminal recklessness may include an array of different actions that are considered dangerous or careless to the safety of others.

Some behaviors that might constitute criminal recklessness include:

  • Firing a gun into a store
  • Driving through a crowd
  • Firing a weapon during a fight

Ultimately, it is up to the jury or a judge to determine if the defendant’s conduct meets the definition of criminal recklessness.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Criminal Recklessness

Criminal recklessness is typically a Class B misdemeanor. However, it may be charged as a Level 6 felony if it involves a deadly weapon.

You may face a Level 6 felony for driving aggressively and causing serious bodily injury to another person. This crime may be boosted to a Level 5 felony if you shoot into a dwelling where people are inside or likely to be inside or if you drive aggressively and cause someone else’s death.

Indiana defines “deadly weapons” broadly, including a loaded gun, baseball bat, vehicle, taser, stun gun, or unloaded firearm. Essentially, anything that can cause serious bodily injury may constitute a deadly weapon.

The state must simply prove that the weapon may be able to cause extreme pain. They do not need to prove that you were using that weapon in a deadly manner.

Penalties for Criminal Recklessness Convictions in Indiana

The maximum penalty for Class B misdemeanor criminal recklessness is up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.

For a Level 6 felony criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, you may face up to two and a half years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

A Level 5 felony may result in up to six years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Examples of Recklessness Crimes and Penalties

Misdemeanor criminal recklessness may include excessive speeding; however, if the speeding is the cause of a crash that results in serious bodily injury or death, you may face a felony charge that can result in prison and significant fines.

A felony criminal recklessness charge may also be assessed if a person fires a gun into an occupied house or points a loaded weapon at an individual during a fight.

These actions can result in the maximum amount of time in prison and hefty fines.

Potential Factors Considered During Sentencing

In criminal sentencing, judges consider two main types of factors to determine an appropriate punishment: aggravating and mitigating factors. These factors essentially work like scales, tipping the balance towards a harsher or lighter sentence.

Aggravating factors can lead to a longer sentence. These factors make the defendant appear more culpable and deserving of punishment.

Examples of aggravating factors include having prior convictions for similar offenses and use of a weapon.

Mitigating factors can lead to a reduced sentence. These factors show the judge reasons why the defendant might deserve leniency.

Examples of mitigating factors include no prior criminal record and taking responsibility and showing remorse.

Possible Consequences of a Conviction

A conviction for criminal recklessness in Indiana can have serious consequences beyond the court-imposed penalties like fines or jail time.

These additional repercussions are known as collateral consequences and can impact your life in various areas.

Here’s a breakdown of what you might face:

  • Employment: Criminal records are often part of background checks that employers conduct. A conviction for recklessness, depending on the severity (misdemeanor or felony) and specific circumstances, could make it harder to get hired or limit your job options.
  • Housing: Landlords may also run background checks, and a criminal record could affect your ability to rent an apartment or house.
  • Professional Licensing: If your profession requires a license, a criminal recklessness conviction might impact your ability to obtain or maintain that license. This is because licensing boards often consider an applicant’s criminal history.
  • Education: Some colleges and universities inquire about criminal backgrounds during applications. A criminal recklessness conviction could hinder your chances of getting accepted, particularly if it involved violence or endangering others.
  • Firearm Restrictions: In Indiana, a felony conviction can restrict your right to own or possess a firearm.

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Why You Need a Criminal Recklessness Defense Lawyer

Facing a criminal recklessness charge in Indiana can be stressful and confusing. The potential consequences, including jail time, fines, and long-lasting collateral effects, can be overwhelming.

This is where a criminal recklessness defense lawyer can be invaluable.

A lawyer can help you understand your charges and build a strong defense. They can negotiate with prosecutors to potentially get the charges dropped or reduced to a lesser offense.

Your attorney can also mitigate collateral consequences and give you peace of mind as you move through the Indiana criminal justice system.

Defenses Against a Criminal Recklessness Charge

A criminal recklessness charge can be serious, but there are defenses you can explore with your attorney.

Attorney Allison Chopra may utilize some of the following defenses in your case:

  • Self-defense or defense of others
  • Mistaken identity
  • Procedural errors by law enforcement
  • Evidence secured through an illegal search and seizure
  • Lack of intent
  • Lack of evidence to secure a conviction

We will look at all the evidence and build a defense that supports your case. The prosecution must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

We will work to poke holes in the state’s case from the beginning through trial.

Fight Your Recklessness Charges. Call Allison Chopra.

Criminal recklessness charges can be intimidating, especially if they are the result of a misunderstanding.

You have rights, and working with a skilled criminal defense attorney will help you get the best outcome possible.

Fighting the prosecution’s case won’t be easy, but attorney Allison Chopra won’t leave your side.

She will aggressively defeat the state’s case against you and use her knowledge of Indiana law to support your case.

If you’re facing charges for criminal recklessness, contact our office at (812) 671-0103 for a free, 30-minute consultation.