In Texas, it’s a crime to use weapons in certain ways as it could lead to deadly conduct charges. These are the elements and consequences of a deadly conduct offense.
Understanding deadly conduct
Deadly conduct involves dangerous, threatening or reckless use of firearms or other deadly weapons. There are different types of deadly conduct: danger of harm and serious bodily injury. The intent is also a focal subject surrounding the crime.
Danger of harm is a deadly conduct crime charge that involves any type of bodily injury risk to someone. Even if a person brandishes a gun and aims it at someone else, they could still face charges even if they don’t pull the trigger or intend to do so. It doesn’t even matter if the weapon is unloaded.
In the context of this crime, intent doesn’t mean intending to cause harm to a victim; it only matters that the individual intended to install fear while brandishing a gun.
A person can also be charged with deadly conduct if their actions cause someone else to suffer serious bodily injury. This means that the victim has a substantial risk of permanent disfigurement, impairment or even death.
Penalties for deadly conduct
Like other violent crimes, deadly conduct can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. At a minimum, a conviction could carry up to one year or up to 10 years in jail. A misdemeanor carries less than two years while a felony charge requires a minimum of two years.
A fine of up to $4,000 may be handed down for a misdemeanor deadly conduct charge. Meanwhile, for a felony, the fine can be up to $10,000. Some individuals could face jail time or a fine or both. Probation is sometimes handed down as well.