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CRS 18-3-208

Colorado Reckless Endangerment

Colorado statute CRS 18-3-208, known as reckless endangerment, is when someone participates in careless or negligent activities that risk the health and well-being of others. Reckless endangerment is a Class 2 misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 120 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $750.

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Penalties for Reckless Endangerment in Colorado

Charge Classification Penalty
Reckless Endangerment Class 2 Misdemeanor
  • Up to 120 days in jail and/or
  • Up to $750 in fines
(Colo. Rev. Stat. § § 18-3-208, 18-1.3-401, 18-1.3-406, 18-1.3-501.)

Here Is What The Prosecution Must Prove to Convict You

The elements of the crime of false imprisonment are:

  1. That the defendant,
  2. in the State of Colorado, at or about the date and place charged,
  3. recklessly,
  4. engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person.
  5. If there is an affirmative defense raised, the prosecution must also prove that the defendant’s conduct was not legally authorized by the affirmative defense.

Possible Defenses for Reckless Endangerment in Colorado

For the prosecutor to convict you of reckless endangerment, they must convince the jury that you are, without a doubt, guilty of the crime. They have to prove that you were acting recklessly. Unlike other charges, proving intent is unnecessary, which means the prosecutor doesn’t have to prove that you were intentionally being reckless to convict.

However, there are several defenses a criminal defense lawyer can use to confirm your innocence or to reduce your charges, such as:

  • Self-defense—You acted recklessly out of self-defense or defense of another
  • Lack of reckless conduct—Your attorney can prove that you were not acting recklessly
  • Accidents—Your actions were accidental, not reckless
  • No bodily harm—Your actions didn’t cause damage, and there was never a risk of serious physical injury

Colorado Revised Statutes, CRS 18-3-208:

18-3-208. Reckless Endangerment:

A person who recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person commits reckless endangerment, which is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Have you been charged or arrested for reckless endangerment in Colorado Springs or El Paso County?

Reckless endangerment can leave a stain on your criminal record. Even if you weren’t intentionally being reckless or if you didn’t cause anyone bodily harm, you can still be convicted of reckless endangerment in Colorado. With many other criminal offenses, the prosecutor must prove intent to convict. However, that is not the case for reckless endangerment. This, in some ways, makes it easier for you to be convicted. A criminal conviction requires that the jury finds you guilty of a reckless endangerment charge that could cause severe harm to others around you. There are several defenses to this crime, such as acting out of necessity or your actions being accidental. It’s still important to know what Colorado law says about reckless endangerment to defend yourself from being convicted.

Call now if you have been Arrested

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some examples of reckless endangerment?

Reckless endangerment charges can involve a wide variety of actions. A typical example would be driving while impaired.

Other examples include:

  • Pointing a loaded gun at someone or firing a gun near someone
  • Dropping a lit cigarette on dry grass next to a house
  • Leaving a child unattended for an extended period
Can a reckless endangerment conviction be sealed in Colorado?

Reckless endangerment convictions can be sealed in Colorado. Your conviction can be sealed two years after the case ends. If your case is dismissed, you don’t have to wait to petition for a seal. Public agencies cannot see the crime on your record when sealing your record.

How can the prosecutor prove reckless endangerment?

While the prosecutor doesn’t have to prove intent, they still have to prove that you acted recklessly in a way that could result in endangering someone. They can show this using witnesses’ testimonies or video and photo evidence.

The prosecutor also has to prove that you knew your actions could result in harming others around you.


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