Under MCA § 45-5-207(1), the crime of criminal endangerment occurs when a person knowingly engages in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to another. The jury instructions for criminal endangerment can be found at MCJI 5-114.
It is important not to confuse the definition of “serious bodily injury” with the definition of “serious bodily harm” as used to define the justifiable use of force. The definition of “knowingly” can be found in MCJI 2-104.
The only different between criminal endangerment and negligent endangerment is the state of mind with which the accused person acts. Negligence, in this context, gives rise to a lesser culpability that does acting knowingly. Therefore, the courts in Montana have held that negligent endangerment is, by statutory definition, a lesser included offense of criminal endangerment.
Attorneys for Criminal Endangerment in Helena, Montana
If you are charged with the criminal offense of criminal endangerment or negligent endangerment then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Beebe Law Firm. From his offices in Helena, Montana, Greg Beebe, represents clients throughout Lewis and Clark County.
He also represents clients charged with criminal endangerment in Boulder in Jefferson County and the surrounding areas of Teton County, Cascade County, Meagher County, Broadwater County, Powell County and Flathead County. Call (406) 442-3300 today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
Elements of Montana’s Criminal Endangerment Statute
A person cannot be convicted of criminal endangerment unless the following elements can be proven beyond all reasonable doubt:
That the Defendant engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury to the alleged victim; and
That the Defendant acted knowingly.
The jury instruction for criminal endangerment can be found at MCJI 5-114(a).
In Porter v. State, 313 Mont. 149, 60 P.3d 951 (2002), the court discussed Criminal Endangerment and the sufficiency of the evidence necessary to sustain a charge of criminal endangerment.