Deadly Conduct

What is Considered Deadly Conduct in Texas?

In Texas, “Deadly Conduct” is a criminal offense defined under the Texas Penal Code, Section 22.05. It refers to a situation where a person engages in conduct that is considered reckless and places another individual in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.

Under Texas law, a person commits the offense of Deadly Conduct if they knowingly discharge a firearm at or in the direction of one or more individuals, or recklessly engage in conduct that places another individual in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. This can include actions such as displaying a firearm in a threatening manner or brandishing a weapon with the intent to cause fear.

It’s important to note that the term “firearm” includes any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through the use of an explosive, as well as air guns and other types of weapons.

Deadly Conduct is generally classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $4,000, up to one year in county jail, or both. However, if the offense involves discharging a firearm in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle where people may present, it is elevated to a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree felony can include imprisonment for two to ten years, along with potential fines.

Types of Deadly Conduct

Discharge of a Firearm

This occurs when a person recklessly or intentionally discharges a firearm in a manner that is likely to cause serious bodily injury or death to another individual.

Displaying a Firearm

It is considered deadly conduct when someone knowingly displays a firearm in a public place in a manner that is calculated to alarm others and cause fear of imminent bodily injury or death.

Reckless Behavior with a Firearm

This offense involves acting with reckless disregard for the safety of others by handling or using a firearm in a way that poses a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death.

Dangerous instrument

Deadly conduct can also be charged when a person uses a dangerous instrument other than a firearm, such as a knife, in a way that could cause serious bodily injury or death.

Penalties of Deadly Conduct

Deadly conduct is generally classified as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, which is punishable by:

  1. Confinement in county jail for up to one year,
  2. A fine of up to $4,000, or
  3. Both confinement and a fine.

However, under certain circumstances, the offense can be enhanced to a felony, resulting in more severe penalties. The following are the circumstances that elevate the offense to a felony:

  1. If the person discharges a firearm in the direction of one or more individuals,
  2. If the person knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied, or
  3. If the person recklessly discharges a firearm from a motor vehicle toward a building, habitation, or vehicle and causes serious bodily injury to any person.

If any of the above circumstances apply, deadly conduct is considered a third-degree felony in Texas, which carries the following penalties:

  1. Imprisonment in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for a term ranging from two to ten years,
  2. A fine of up to $10,000, or
  3. Both imprisonment and a fine.

Do you need Legal Assistance?

If you were charged with deadly conduct in Texas or another such crime, it’s important to have legal counsel who can guide you through your options and help you protect your rights. At Shane Lewis Law, we help clients who have been charged with crimes defend themselves against accusations and ensure they are fairly treated by the justice system.

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