Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Accidental Shooting Provides Example of Georgia’s Reckless Conduct Charge

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 08, 2018 | 0 Comments

A young man, Khalijah Cobourne, is facing charges of reckless conduct as well as a weapons charge in Georgia. The situation occurred in Gwinnett County. According to reports, Cobourne was sitting in a car outside a Kroger location off Grayson Highway. He allegedly unintentionally fired a gun and shot a passenger in the vehicle. 

But what is reckless conduct in Georgia?

According to Georgia law, reckless conduct in Georgia is defined by O.C.G.A. §16-5-40 as:

“A person who causes bodily harm to or endangers the bodily safety of another person by consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that his act or omission will cause harm or endanger the safety of the other person and the disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the situation is guilty of a misdemeanor.”

Why does it apply here?

According to reports, Cobourne allegedly accidentally shot another passenger in the car. Even though it was accidental, the State might be able to prove that he consciously disregarded the substantial and unjustifiable risk by holding a gun and accidentally firing it. The firing of Cobourne's weapon undoubtedly caused harm and endangered the safety of the passengers in the vehicle. His disregard may constitute a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.

What is the penalty for a reckless conduct conviction?

Most of the time, a conviction for reckless conduct in Georgia is classified as a misdemeanor. This means that Cobourne is facing up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both. 

The statute does, however, outline situations in which reckless conduct is considered a felony. These situations reference when a person is infected with HIV and knows that they are infected with HIV. This is outlined by provisions (c) and (d) in O.C.G.A. §16-5-40.

  • Knowingly engages in sexual intercourse or submits to any sexual act involving sex organs without disclosing to the other person their HIV status
  • Knowingly uses a syringe or needle and allows another person to use the same device without disclosing to the other person their HIV status
  • Offers or consents to perform sexual intercourse for money without disclosing to the other person their HIV status
  • Solicits another person to perform or submit to sodomy for money without disclosing to the other person their HIV status
  • Donates blood, blood products, other body fluids, or any body organ/part without disclosing their HIV status
  • Commits an assault upon a peace officer with the intent to transmit HIV 

The above-mentioned situations constitute a felony charge of reckless conduct in Georgia. This means that if convicted, the penalty includes up to one year to ten years in prison.

If you or a loved one has been charged with reckless conduct in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer today. Our attorneys will know how to apply the most applicable Georgia Criminal Defenses to your case and best defend your freedom.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense and Criminal Defense. As a former Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. In DUI cases, you only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.


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