Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Toddler Found Alone in the Street and Father Charged with Georgia Reckless Conduct

Posted by Richard Lawson | Jul 23, 2018 | 0 Comments

A 4-year-old was almost hit by a car when she was found alone in the street on Oak Drive in Cobb County. According to reports, she was found with bruises and scratches all over her and was only wearing a diaper. The woman who found her took her home to find no one there and then called 911. Authorities located her father who was allegedly drunk and taking medication for an oral procedure he had gotten done. 

He said that he had fallen asleep, and the young girl had wandered outside. 

Her father has been charged with reckless conduct and has bonded out of Cobb County jail.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I can best explain reckless conduct as a “catch-all” offense. The offense of reckless conduct arises from people committing a dangerous act and not acting, as a reasonable person would do. Examples can include anything from firing a gun without checking for others to leaving a young child unattended to using illegal substances in a public area to storing weapons in unprotected areas. So in today's post, let's look at the law. 

Reckless Conduct in Georgia

The Georgia Code defines the criminal offense of 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.

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. 

Practice Note

The reckless element constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care which a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation. Reckless conduct is a crime of general intent, not specific intent.

As a crime of general intent, the state of Georgia only needs to prove that the father in this case behaved recklessly - not that he intended to harm his daughter. Moreover, the state of Georgia would only need to prove that his actions did not meet the standard of conduct required by an adult in supervision of children when he fell asleep and his child wandered outside into the street.

No one is to be deemed guilty just because they have been accused of committing a crime. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today. We will investigate every detail of your case and determine which Georgia Criminal Defenses apply.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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