Police in the City of Atlanta are searching for a young woman who allegedly approached a family at Atlantic Station and coughed on them.
She reportedly coughed, exclaimed, “corona,” laughed, and then walked away. The woman was identified by the parents of the family in surveillance videos from Target. Still frames of the clips of the woman have been released by authorities assigned to the case.
The woman is facing charges of reckless conduct in Georgia. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of reckless conduct and the law as it is defined by Georgia Law.
Reckless Conduct in Georgia
Reckless Conduct in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in 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.
According to the law, the prosecution must demonstrate that the suspect is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that an act taken was not one that a reasonable person would have done. The Court will analyze several factors to try and determine whether or not the defendant should have known that their conduct was dangerous. Some factors include but are not limited to the accused's age, education, mental capacities, the nature of the crime, and state of mind at the time of the offense.
Most of the time, a reckless conduct conviction is classified as a misdemeanor. However, there are some circumstances where a reckless conduct charge is considered a felony. If a person who is infected with HIV and who knows they are infected with HIV commits a certain action as proscribed by law then they will be guilty of a felony and shall face a penalty of no more than ten years in prison.
In addition to serving time in prison and possibly paying a fine, a defendant could also be subject to a personal injury lawsuit from the victim. The victim could sue the defendant for damages that resulted from the crime and could include lost wages, medical costs, pain and suffering, and rehabilitation.
As the Shelter in Place order continues and as the pandemic escalates, we will continue to see different charges than what we are used to. If you or someone you know has been arrested, call our offices today.
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