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What Is Deadly Conduct?

When you think of “deadly conduct” in Texas, you probably think of gun-slinging, pistol shooting, or something else involving a gun. While the reckless handling of a firearm can most certainly be considered “deadly conduct,” it is not the only behavior that can be considered deadly.

The key point in deadly conduct charges involves reckless conduct that places someone in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. Thus, deadly conduct can be speeding down a residential street, using explosives in a heavily occupied neighborhood, or something similar.

Lawyer for Deadly Conduct in Georgetown, Texas

If you or someone you know has been charged with exhibiting deadly conduct in violation of Texas Penal Code § 22.05, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Michael J. Price, founder of Law Office of Michael J. Price is an experienced and dedicated litigator who has practices throughout the courtrooms in Georgetown, Texas. As a lawyer of more than two decades, Attorney Price has the knowledge required to be effective when battling in the courtroom.

Call (512) 354-1880 now to schedule a free, confidential consultation about your case.


Deadly Conduct Information Center


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Deadly Conduct under Texas Pen. Code § 22.05

In order to convict an individual of Deadly Conduct in violation of Texas Penal Code § 22.05, a prosecutor of the State of Texas must show the following elements beyond all reasonable doubt:

  • The offender recklessly engaged in conduct;
  • The offender’s reckless conduct placed another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury; or

Under Subsection B, an alleged offender can also be found guilty if he or she does the following:

  • The offender knowingly discharged a firearm in the direction of one or more individuals; or
  • The offender knowingly discharged a firearm in the direction of a habitation, building, or vehicle; and
  • The offender is reckless as to whether the habitation, vehicle, or building is occupied.

The Statute also makes a number of presumptions about an pointing a firearm. Namely, the Statute states that “[r]ecklessness and danger are presumed if the actor knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded.

Thus, the firearm not being loaded is not a defense to a deadly conduct charge and an individual can be convicted regardless of whether he or she knew whether the firearm was loaded.


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Penalties for a Deadly Conduct Conviction

The elements of Texas Penal Code § 22.05 are divided into two sections. If an individual engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury, then he or she can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor.

In Texas, a Class A misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to $4,000 in fines.

If an individual is charged with deadly conduct for recklessly pointing a firearm at, or in the direction of, under Subsection B of the Statute, then he or she can be charged with a third-degree felony.

In Texas, third-degree felonies are punishable by up to ten (10) years in Texas State Prison, and up to $10,000 in fines.


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Useful Definitions of the Texas Deadly Conduct Statute

Fully understanding the Texas Deadly Conduct Statute means fully understanding the terms used to outline the elements. The Statute uses some words in a specific manner, for clarity and purpose.

The following definitions are useful in understanding Tex. Pen. Code § 22.05:
“habitation:” is defined as a structure or vehicle that is adapted for overnight accommodations of persons, including: (1) each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and (2) each structure appurtenant or connected with the structure or vehicle.

“building:” a building for the purposes of the deadly conduct statute is defined as “any enclosed structure intended for use or occupation as a habitation or for some purpose of trade, manufacture, ornament, or use.”

“vehicle:” is defined as “any device in, on, or by which, any person or property is or may be propelled, moved, or drawn in the normal course of commerce or transportation,” exception devices that are classified as “habitations.”


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Additional Resources on Deadly Conduct in Texas

Section 22.05 – Visit the website of the Texas Legislature for more information on Deadly Conduct and the penalties associated with conviction.  Also find more information on other assaultive offenses in the Texas Penal Code.


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Find an Attorney for Deadly Conduct Offenses in Williamson County, TX

If you or someone you know has been charged with discharging a firearm in another person’s direction, or engaging in reckless conduct, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.

As founder of Law Office of Michael J. Price, attorney Michael J. Price prides himself being a dedicated advocate and fighter for his clients. He will sit with each client and explain the charges against him or her. Michael J. Price is a hands on attorney who will fight to get the best possible result for his clients.

Law Office of Michael J. Price is located in Georgetown, Texas, and accepts cases throughout Williamson County, Bell County, Milam County, Lee County, Bastrop County, Travis County, and Burnet County in Texas.

Call (512) 354-1880 now for a free, confidential consultation. Our attorney will explore the best possible options at no initial obligation to you.

This article was last updated on Friday, September 15, 2017.

 

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