Texas is the only state that has a specific “Deadly Conduct” law. Deadly conduct occurs when someone engages in conduct that they know or should know will place someone else at risk of suffering bodily harm. In Texas, this offense can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on circumstances.
For example: If you point a gun at someone, you can be charged with deadly conduct in Texas even if you never fired a weapon or intended to fire it. The fact that you intentionally pointed a gun, and that you knew or should have known that pointing a gun poses a danger to someone else, is enough to be charged with a misdemeanor offense of deadly conduct. Whether your gun is loaded or not is irrelevant. What matters is that you pointed the weapon at others.
In Texas, a person engages in deadly conduct if they point a weapon or fire a weapon in the direction of another person or if they fire a weapon at a home, vehicle, building or other structure without knowing or investigating whether the building is occupied. The buildings or vehicles do not need to be occupied at the time that they are fired upon, but merely that they are capable of housing or transporting people.
Under Texas Penal Code Sec. 22.05, the law specifically states that a person commits this offense if he or she:
a) recklessly engages in conduct that puts someone in imminent danger of serious bodily injury; or
b) knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of
(1) one or more individuals; or
(2) a habitation, building or vehicle or is reckless as to whether the habitation, building or vehicle is occupied.
When it comes to deadly conduct, it is important that a person acted intentionally, but not necessarily with the intent to cause harm.
Deadly conduct can be classified as either a Class A misdemeanor or a third-degree felony depending on the facts and circumstances. Deadly conduct is a Class A misdemeanor unless a firearm is discharged in which case it is elevated it to a third-degree felony.
If you are accused of using a weapon in a threatening manner, it’s important that you contact an experienced Fort Worth deadly conduct lawyer. We can help answer your questions, explain the potential consequences, and work to protect your rights. Our lawyers are skilled at handling these types of case and will work to build the strongest defense possible. Call us today for a free consultation and check out our results.