What is "Reckless Conduct" in New Hampshire?

Reckless Conduct in New Hampshire.  What does "reckless conduct" mean under New Hampshire law?  People get charged with reckless conduct under a wide variety of circumstances, due to the relative vagueness of this statute.  The most common situations are for the discharge of a gun, or as a "pile-on" charge by the state that gets added to motor vehicle charges like DWI or reckless driving.  How does the state get away with that?  A look at the law is necessary to make what sense can be made of it:

RSA 631:3 (2012) Reckless Conduct.

I. A person is guilty of reckless conduct if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another in danger of serious bodily injury.

II. Reckless conduct is a class B felony if the person uses a deadly weapon as defined in RSA 625:11, V. All other reckless conduct is a misdemeanor.

III. A person convicted of a class B felony offense under this section shall not be subject to the provisions of RSA 651:2, II-g.

So how does the state pile a reckless conduct charge onto a DWI case or other common motor vehicle offenses?  Through the creative use of the word "deadly weapon" in section II.  "Deadly weapon" is actually defined under RSA 625 as follows:

   "V. "Deadly weapon" means any firearm, knife or other substance or thing which, in the manner it is used, intended to be used, or threatened to be used, is known to be capable of producing death or serious bodily injury."

So prosecutors have taken to charging people with "reckless conduct" because the car could be a "deadly weapon". 

If you have been charged with reckless conduct, disobeying an officer, DWI or any other crime, please feel free to call me right away at 1-603-893-0074 for a free consultation to discuss your case.  I look forward to speaking with you.

Mark Stevens
Law Offices of Mark Stevens
Admitted in New Hampshire and Massachusetts
5 Manor Parkway
Salem, NH 03079