18-year-old Joshua Chestney turned himself into Paulding County authorities yesterday, claiming that he accidentally shot his 16-year-old best friend in the face.
According to Chestney, he didn't mean to shoot his friend in the left eye while they were playing with his father's pistol near a park Tuesday afternoon. The two boys were sitting in a vehicle near the park, and Chestney was showing off the gun when it went off. The 16-year-old has since been put into a medically-induced coma after losing his left eye and has bleeding present in his brain according to reports.
Chestney has been charged with reckless conduct and false report of a crime in Georgia.
As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus on the criminal offense of reckless conduct in the state of Georgia. Reckless conduct is an interesting crime because it encompasses acts that are considered dangerous. Some examples include:
- Firing a gun without considering the safety of others
- Storing weapons in unsafe and insecure areas
- Leaving a child unattended without adult supervision
- Driving a vehicle after drinking
Again, these are just some examples. The biggest takeaway is that a commission of reckless conduct in Georgia does not require criminal intent, just someone acting recklessly and dangerously.
Reckless Conduct in Georgia
Georgia Law defines reckless conduct in Georgia 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.” O.C.G.A. §16-5-40.
A conviction for reckless conduct in Georgia is classified as a misdemeanor. This means that the penalty can include up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $1,000, or both.
There are different Georgia Criminal Defenses that apply to a wrongful accusation of reckless conduct. Some defenses include:
- The victim of the crime consented to the activity beforehand.
- There was no deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise.
- The accused person did what a reasonable person under the circumstances would do.
This is not an exhaustive list of defenses. There may be more that might apply to any particular case. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today. We will walk you through every step of the way and formulate the best defense possible. Remember - everyone is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.