New York Penal Law § 260.24: Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree

In New York there are special laws designed to protect those who are vulnerable. While most of these laws focus on protecting children, there are also laws that are meant to protect those who are incompetent are physically disabled. Under New York Penal Law § 260.24 you could be prosecuted for endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree if you recklessly engage in conduct which is likely to physically, mentally, or morally injure a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect.

Example

Frank and Sara have been married for 30 years. Last year Sara was involved in a serious car accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. On a hot summer day Frank drove to a grocery store so that the 2 of them could shop. When they arrived, Sara complained that she was not feeling well and preferred to wait in the car. Frank went inside the store, leaving Sara in the car alone with the windows up. After about 20 minutes, a woman walked by the car and noticed that Sara had passed out. She was unable to open the locked car, so she called 911. Frank could be charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person. While he did not intend to put Sara in danger, by failing to leave the car windows down, he recklessly endangered Sara's physical well-being.

Related Offenses
  1. Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 260.25
  2. Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an competent or physically disabled person in the second degree: New York Penal Law § 260.32
  3. Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, or an competent or physically disabled person in the first degree: New York Penal Law § 260.34
Defenses

Under this statute, you can convicted only if the prosecutor proves that your actions where reckless. Under New York Penal Law § 15.05(3) you would have acted recklessly if you understand that by acting in a certain manner a particular harm would result, and you decided to behave in that manner anyway. If the injury occurred due to an accident that did not involve recklessness, then you have a defense to the charge.

Sentence

Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor. If you are convicted your sentence may include up to 1 year in prison, a probation term of 3 years, and a substantial fine.

New York Penal Law § 260.24: Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person second degree

A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree when he or she recklessly engages in conduct which is likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Even though endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the second degree is a misdemeanor and not a felony, it is still important that you have experienced representation. If you are convicted you could end up behind bars. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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