Deadly conduct with a weapon can land you in serious trouble in Texas and facing a term behind bars whether it’s charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.
If you use a firearm or another weapon in a dangerous, reckless or threatening manner you commit a crime. Most states have this offense but the reckless use of a weapon is known as “deadly conduct” in Texas. It’s the only state in the country with a specific deadly conduct law.
Deadly conduct with a weapon is defined in the Texas Penal Code under Chapter 22.05. The charge can be brought when the defendant recklessly engages in conduct that places somebody else in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.
The law defines “serious bodily injury” as a form of injury to the body that creates a substantial risk of death or causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment or an organ or a bodily function.
While deadly conduct is often charged as a Class A misdemeanor in Texas, recklessly discharging a firearm can elevate it to a third-degree felony.
If you engage in any type of conduct that are aware, or should know, will put someone else at risk of suffering serious bodily injury, you can face a deadly conduct charge.
If you point a firearm at another person, you can be hit with a deadly conduct charge. The fact that you never fired the weapon or even intended to is immaterial.
It’s sufficient that you intentionally brandished the firearm and were aware, or should have known that the act poses a danger to someone else.
As mentioned above, this crime can either be a misdemeanor or felony offense. If you are charged with a felony, you are likely to face a more serious sentence. The Medlin Law Firm defends people who are charged with misdemeanors and felonies in Texas.
The penalties for a deadly conduct conviction can entail jail time whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony.
When charged as a Class A misdemeanor, a deadly conduct conviction can result in up to one year in jail.
When charged as a third-degree felony, you could face as long as 10 years in prison. You will serve a minimum of two years if you are convicted of deadly conduct with a weapon as a felony.
If you are convicted of deadly conduct with a weapon, the court can impose a fine of no more than $4,000 as a misdemeanor while you can be hit with a $10,000 fine for a felony. A fine may be a stand-alone sentence or be imposed at the same time as a prison sentence.
A deadly conduct convicted can also lead to probation. Generally, the court will impose a term of a year or longer. The defendant must meet conditions imposed by the court. Usually, he or she will have to report to a probation officer at regular intervals. The officer may be able to search your home or car at will to make sure you do not possess any weapons.
If you are charged with deadly conduct with a weapon in the Fort Worth area, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.