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Reckless Endangerment

Reckless endangerment consists of an act that creates substantial risk to the physical safety of another person. There does not need to be intention to create harm but there must be an action that shows disregard for the consequences. This means that an accidental shooting is still a crime. Some examples of common crimes defined under this term include waving a loaded gun at another person or shooting a bullet in the air without aiming at a certain target. 

RCW 9A.36.050 defines reckless endangerment as:
(1) A person is guilty of reckless endangerment when he or she recklessly engages in conduct not amounting to drive-by shooting but that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person.
(2) Reckless endangerment is a gross misdemeanor.

In order to be found guilty of reckless endangerment, the state must prove that you understood that your actions posed a great risk of harm, disregarded the risk and continued to perform the action. The state does not need to prove that you intended to cause the resulting harm. Instead, they must show that you intended to perform the act in question, and therefore understood the risks associated with your actions.

Factors that influence the case and punishment:
• Possession on or near school grounds whether or not children are present
• Probation or parole terms forbid you to possess a gun
• Community attitudes toward gun possession and gun violence
• Aggravating or mitigating circumstances
• Prior convictions


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