Known in Arizona law as A.R.S. §13-1201, the crime of Endangerment can occur when one person “recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.”
Commonly, Endangerment is charged when a driver operates a vehicle in a manner reflecting “extreme indifference” to the lives of others. Prosecutors may use an endangerment charge as an inducement to those who might otherwise be charged with Aggravated DUI. The former charge is a class six (6) felony, while the Aggravated DUI is a more serious class four (4) felony, so pleading to reckless Endangerment charge results in less serious consequences for a defendant. The major difference is that a class four felony involves prison time — being behind bars for 24 hours a day — while jail involves 12 hours of freedom per day.
A skilled Arizona criminal defense attorney can help you fight these charges. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor can be reached at any time, using our secure contact form or by calling 602-307-0808. Contact our firm for a free consultation to learn about how we can fight for you.
Potential Punishment for Endangerment
Many charges of this crime arise from overzealous police officers who wish to turn behavior constituting misdemeanor reckless driving into a felony charge of reckless Endangerment. However, charges cannot be assigned arbitrarily; to be guilty of this crime, the prosecutor needs to demonstrate that a defendant recklessly put the lives of others in danger while behind the wheel. Recklessness is a high standard; in Arizona, recklessness means that an individual was aware of the existence of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a dangerous circumstance or result would occur and ignored that risk in acting. The risk must have been so serious that it would be a “gross deviation” of reasonable behavior to ignore the risk.
In the context of driving, this may mean taking action such as driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, speeding excessively, or driving in a highly dangerous, careless manner. When acting in your defense, the Law Offices of David Michael Cantor work hard to refute evidence of any of those factors. Each Arizona criminal defense attorney at the firm knows to look for issues such as improper blood, breath or urine testing, sloppy police reporting, inaccurate or misleading statements from officers, improper crime scene reconstruction, and unreliability of speed and other calculations. We may also be able to defend your case by showing that there were no people or vehicles within a considerable distance of your car, meaning no one was actually in danger.
Defenses for Endangerment
Our comprehensive defense strategy may also include general or constitutional defenses, such as denial of the right to counsel or Miranda rights violations. Denial of the right to counsel occurs if you are not provided with an opportunity to speak with a lawyer in a reasonable amount of time, while Miranda rights violations may occur if you are forced to make an inculpatory statement or no one reads you your rights upon arrest.
The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor is a firm with many former prosecutors, which gives lawyers a unique perspective into how to defend cases. Additionally, the firm boasts the highest Martindale Hubbell® rating of AV® and all of the firm’s lawyers are listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers®. David Michael Cantor is also a Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the Arizona Board of Legal Specialization. For a free consultation, contact the firm by using our secure contact form or by calling 602-307-0808. Our office is available 24 hours a day by phone or email.