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Criminal Jury Instructions

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6.3-2  Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree -- § 53a-64

Revised to December 1, 2007

The defendant is charged [in count __] with reckless endangerment in the second degree.  The statute defining this offense reads in pertinent part as follows: 

a person is guilty of reckless endangerment in the second degree when (he/she) recklessly engages in conduct which creates a risk of physical injury to another person.

For you to find the defendant guilty of this charge, the state must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:  

Element 1 - Acted recklessly
The first element is that the defendant acted recklessly.  A person acts "recklessly" with respect to a result or circumstances when (he/she) is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that such result will occur or that such circumstances exist.  <See Recklessness, Instruction 2.3-4>

Element 2 - Created risk of physical injury
The second element is that the defendant's recklessness created a risk of causing physical injury to another person.
1  "Physical injury" means impairment of physical condition or pain.

Conclusion

In summary, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that 1) the defendant acted recklessly, and 2) created a risk of causing physical injury to another person.

If you unanimously find that the state has proved beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements of the crime of reckless endangerment in the second degree, then you shall find the defendant guilty.  On the other hand, if you unanimously find that the state has failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any of the elements, you shall then find the defendant not guilty.
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1 There has to be proof that another person was actually put at risk of physical injury.  State v. Thomas, 56 Conn. App. 573, 578, cert. denied, 252 Conn. 953 (2000) (defendant shot a pistol into the ground, but there was no evidence of the presence of other people in the vicinity).

Commentary

Reckless endangerment in the second degree is not a lesser included offense of assault in the first degree.  State v. Fuller, 56 Conn. App. 592, 603-604, cert. denied, 252 Conn. 949, cert. denied, 531 U.S. 911, 121 S. Ct. 262, 148 L. Ed. 2d 190 (2000).

Reckless endangerment in the second degree, General Statutes § 53a-64, and reckless driving, General Statutes § 14-222 (a), are separate offenses.  "Reckless endangerment involves a risk of physical injury, and reckless driving involves endangering the life of another person.  Reckless driving is limited to conduct solely involving the use of a motor vehicle.  Reckless endangerment is not so limited."  State v. Rudd, 62 Conn. App. 702, 710 (2001).
 


 

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