Although the offense of deadly conduct is vaguely named, it has a specific meaning under Texas law. It refers to acting in a manner that puts another in “imminent danger of serious bodily injury” or the reckless use of a firearm. Keep reading to learn more about this serious charge.
To be convicted for misdemeanor deadly conduct, you must not have used a firearm and your actions must have threatened serious bodily harm to another. A typical example would be the threatening use of your car during an incident of “road rage.”
You can be charged with felony deadly conduct if you discharge a firearm at or near someone, even if the gun doesn’t discharge. This offense also applies if you discharge a firearm in the direction of a building or vehicle in manner that suggests you are indifferent to whether or not the building or vehicle is occupied.
Firing a gun into the ceiling to scare someone might be considered felony deadly conduct, for example, if someone lives on the floor above you. You can even be convicted of deadly conduct for simply pointing a gun at someone, even if you don’t fire and/or the gun is unloaded.
Misdemeanor deadly conduct is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail. Depending on the specific facts of your case, you may lose your driver’s license or be ordered to participate in a mandatory program (an alcohol abuse program, for example).
Felony deadly conduct is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 10 years in state prison, in addition to potential driver’s license and diversion penalties, and loss of the right to vote or own a firearm.
Not everyone convicted of deadly conduct goes to jail or prison. Depending on the facts of the case and the skill of the defendant’s attorney, the court may agree to an alternative to incarceration. If you are convicted of misdemeanor deadly conduct, for example, you might qualify for a diversion program or “deferred adjudication,” which allows sentencing to be deferred provided you comply with a certain term of probation and certain other requirements such as participation in a community service program.
The offense of deadly conduct can be just as serious as it sounds. As your attorney, I will stand up for your rights without hesitation or doubt. I aggressively confront witnesses and force the state to prove its case against you. If you have been accused of deadly conduct, call Corley Legal, PLLC any time day or night in San Antonio or Austin and surrounding counties at (210) 444-2889 / (512) 444-2889, and we can set up a time to meet and discuss your charge.