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What is Wanton Conduct?

West's Encyclopedia of American Law defines Wanton: Grossly careless or negligent; reckless; malicious. The term wanton implies a reckless disregard for the consequences of one's behavior. A wanton act is one done in heedless disregard for the life, limbs,health, safety, reputation, or property rights of another individual. Such an act is more than Negligence or gross negligence; it is equivalent in its results to an act of willful misconduct. A wanton injury is one precipitated by a conscious and intentional wrongful act or by an omission of a known obligation with reckless indifference to potential harmful consequences. Kentucky Revised Statutes 501.020 provides the definition of mental states.

The following definitions apply in the Kentucky Penal Code:
(1) "Intentionally" -- A person acts intentionally with respect to a result or to conduct described by a statute defining an offense when his conscious objective is to cause that result or to engage in that conduct.
(2) "Knowingly" -- A person acts knowingly with respect to conduct or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware that his conduct is of that nature or that the circumstance exists.
(3) "Wantonly" -- A person acts wantonly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he is aware of and consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A person who creates such a risk but is unaware thereof solely by reason of voluntary intoxication also acts wantonly with respect thereto.
(4) "Recklessly" -- A person acts recklessly with respect to a result or to a circumstance described by a statute defining an offense when he fails to perceive a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the result will occur or that the circumstance exists. The risk must be of such nature and degree that failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would observe in the situation.

If you have been charged with wanton endangerment or any other crimes in Northern Kentucky, contact the Bouldin Law Firm for a consultation.  Contact Michael Bouldin at [email protected] or call 581-MIKE; 859-581-6453.

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