Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. to discuss your reckless injury case.  We defend all criminal charges in Wisconsin. Contact us at (414) 270-0202 immediately about your case.

Reckless injury is defined in section 940.23 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  The crime, depending upon the degree, is a Class D or Class F felony.  Criminal defense law firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. defends both first degree and second degree reckless injury cases.  Our top criminal defense lawyers, Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin T. Van Severen, have experience defending reckless injury cases.  Contact our criminal defense firm at (414) 270-0202 to discuss your case with one of our defense attorneys.

What’s the difference between the two versions of this crime?


First degree reckless injury is committed when:

a) The defendant recklessly causes great bodily harm to another number being under circumstances which show utter disregard for human life; or
b) The defendant recklessly causes great bodily harm to an unborn child under circumstances that show utter disregard for the life of that unborn child, the woman who is pregnant with that unborn child, or another.


Second degree reckless injury is committed when:

a) The defendant recklessly causes great bodily harm to another human being; or
b) The defendant recklessly causes great bodily harm to an unborn child.


The term “great bodily harm” means an injury which created a substantial risk of death, or which caused serious permanent disfigurement, or which caused a permanent or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any body part, or other serious bodily injury.  This definition is provided in section 939.22(14) of the Wisconsin Statutes.

“Criminal recklessness” is defined in section 939.24 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  It means that the defendant creates an unreasonable and substantial risk of death or great bodily harm to another human being, and the defendant is aware of that risk.

The main difference between first and second degree reckless injury relies on the phrase “under circumstances which show utter disregard for human life.”  The judicial counsel note to section 940.02 of the Wisconsin Statutes explains that the phrase is intended to reflect case law defining “conduct evincing a depraved mind, regardless of human life.”  Unfortunately case law doesn’t further define the phrase, instead pointing to Wisconsin Jury Instruction – Criminal 1345.  Simply put, the phrase means “utter lack of concern for the life and safety of another.”  Your criminal defense lawyer must understand the complexities of the law if he is going to provide you adequate reckless injury defense.


Criminal defense law firm Meyer Van Severen, S.C. handles reckless injury defense

Our criminal defense attorneys have worked on 1st degree reckless injury and 2nd degree reckless injury cases.  If you’ve been charged with either of these offenses, contact our law firm immediately.  Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin Van Severen understand the complexities of criminal law and can argue on your behalf.  Call (414) 270-0202 for a free consultation today.