In the State of Indiana, criminal recklessness occurs when someone performs an act that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person. This can be charged regardless of whether the act was committed:
- knowingly, or
Criminal recklessness starts as a Class B misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Things can get worse, however, if the prosecutor decides that criminal recklessness was committed with a deadly weapon.
How a Deadly Weapon Changes the Equation
Use of a deadly weapon can easily increase the charge to a Level 6 felony, which carries a maximum penalty of two-and-a-half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Considering how much worse this makes things, it’s reasonable to ask: What qualifies as a deadly weapon?
Indiana has defined the term pretty broadly, so we’re not just talking about loaded guns. Under the statute, lots of things can be considered a deadly weapon, including:
- a taser,
- a stun gun, or
- an unloaded firearm.
Basically, anything that’s capable of causing serious bodily injury can qualify as a deadly weapon. This can be a problem for defendants, because to prove serious bodily injury, all the State needs to show is that the weapon in question could cause extreme pain. The State does not need to show that you were using a weapon in a deadly manner.
Make the Right Call
If you find yourself facing enhanced criminal charges, don’t panic. The Marc Lopez Law Firm handles cases like these every day. Give us a call at 317-632-3642 and remember—always plead the 5th!