• Ryan Driscoll

Recklessly Endangering Another Person (REAP)Third Circuit Analysis


How does REAP (Reckless Endangering Another Person) affect your immigration status?





Pennsylvania Statue:

A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury.

18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2705

 

Anytime you are accused of a crime, and you are NOT a U.S. Citizen (hereafter, noncitizen), it is incredibly important to speak with an experienced immigration attorney who understands the implications on your immigration status if you are convicted of a crime.


The concern for noncitizens is that by having a criminal conviction on your immigration record, it could make you deportable or inadmissible. The regulation for when a noncitizen is deportable after being convicted of a crime is found in 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i)-(vi). The regulation for when a noncitizen is inadmissible after being convicted of a crime is found in 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)-(I). You are deportable if you are a Legal Permanent Resident (aka, Green Card Holder), and you are inadmissible, if you are not yet a Legal Permanent Resident.


The specific statute here is Pennsylvania’s Recklessly Endangering Another Person (REAP), 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2705. This is a second degree misdemeanor, which carries a 1 to 2 years prison sentence, and up to a $5,000 fine.


If you have been accused of Pennsylvania’s REAP Statute, you can breathe a sigh of relief, because current 3rd Circuit precedent says a conviction for REAP in PA does NOT constitute a crime of moral turpitude.


The relevant case is Mahn v. AG of the United States from 2014. There, a Liberian man, Emmanuel Mahn, crashed his car into a nearby house after picking his sister up from work. Nobody in the house was hurt, but the car and the house were damaged. Mr. Mahn was charged with REAP. He was convicted, and then served a Notice to Appear because the government charged him with being deportable now that he had two CIMT’s on his record. The REAP conviction - the government alleged - was the second CIMT conviction.


The Immigration Judge relied on a 2004 case called Knapik v. Ashcroft, also from the Third Circuit, which held that New York’s REAP statute is a CIMT. The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) affirmed the Immigration Judge’s decision, so Mr. Mahn’s attorneys filed a Petition for Review with the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.


After conducting a categorical approach analysis, Mahn held that PA’s REAP statute is NOT a CIMT because the PA Statute only requires that a person MAY put a person in danger. New York, in contrast, requires a “grave risk of death to another person.” New York Penal Law § 120.25.


In summary, if you are accused of REAP in Pennsylvania, please consult with an experienced criminal/immigration attorney right away. This article does not constitute legal advice. For information pertaining to your specific situation, please schedule a free legal consultation.

 

Sojourner Law is a law firm dedicated to serving immigrants and refugees in Pittsburgh, PA, the greater Pittsburgh Region, and the Arlington/D.C. area through Immigration Law and Removal Defense/Asylum.


We are a husband and wife team dedicated to serving each client with excellence, honor, and client advocacy for each legal need.


Together, we are committed to serving our refugee and immigrant neighbors by providing high-quality legal representation and advocating for them on their journey towards permanent residency, family reunification, and citizenship.