Newnan, Ga. - An arrest happened in Newnan that is actually a rarely seen occurrence - a felony level reckless conduct arrest.
According to reports, a local woman is facing felony reckless conduct charges after she allegedly had sex with two individuals without disclosing to either of them that she was HIV-Positive. Not many people are aware that this is a felony level crime in the state of Georgia. A friend of the woman is the one who ended up telling the two individuals that she had tested positive.
As a Coweta County Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the law behind the offense of reckless conduct in the state of Georgia.
Reckless Conduct in Georgia
Reckless Conduct in Georgiais 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.
Call our offices now if you or a loved one has been accused of committing a criminal offense in the state of Georgia. We can help you today.