First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety

Section 941.30(1) of the Wisconsin Criminal Code provides that it is a Felony to Recklessly
Endanger the safety of others. It is charged similarly to Second Degree Recklessly Endangering
safety, but is a more severe charge where the State needs to prove an additional element of utter
disregard for human life. The elements of First Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety are:

  • The Defendant endangered the safety of another Human Being.
  • The Defendant endangered that person’s safety by criminally reckless conduct. (AND)
  • The circumstances of the conduct showed utter disregard for human life.

The differences between First and Second Degree Recklessly Endangering Safety are merely the
degree of recklessness involved. The additional element of “utter disregard for human life”
makes this charge more serious, but this element is also more subjective and difficult to prove.

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