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What Is Accident v. Wanton Conduct?

Posted on August 16, 2016 in General Criminal Law Issues - Northern KY State Crimes in Northern Kentucky

Representing two clients in the past week dealing with alleged wanton conduct, I find myself again doing research on how actions are determined to be accidental, negligent, wanton or intentional.  Having to explain this to foreign clients is even more difficult as they often use only one word to describe the conduct.  Following are criminal definitions of each word from Kentucky Statutes:

501.020 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.

Kentucky also utilizes the following definitions:

501.010 Definitions. The following definitions apply in this chapter:
(1) “Culpable mental state” means “intentionally” or “knowingly” or “wantonly” or “recklessly,” as these terms are defined in KRS 501.020.
(2) “Intoxication” means a disturbance of mental or physical capacities resulting from the introduction of substances into the body.
(3) “Voluntary act” means a bodily movement performed consciously as a result of effort or determination and includes the possession of property if the actor was aware of his physical possession or control thereof for a sufficient period to have been able to terminate it.
(4) “Voluntary intoxication” means intoxication caused by substances which the defendant knowingly introduces into his body, the tendency of which to cause intoxication he knows or ought to know, unless he introduces them pursuant to medical advice or under such duress as would afford a defense to a charge of crime.

If you have been charged with any crime you should consult with an attorney. Wanton conduct in criminal courts typically results in a felony charge. For representation in Kentucky, call Bouldin Law Firm and speak with Michael Bouldin.  Email at mwbouldin2@gmail.com or call 859-581-6453 (581-MIKE).