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Texas Penal Code § 20.05 - DEADLY CONDUCT-FIREA
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Attorney for Deadly Conduct in San Antonio, Texas
Under Texas Penal Code 22.05, "deadly conduct" is a criminal offense that occurs when a person intentionally or knowingly engages in conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, or that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death to another person. This can include discharging a firearm at an individual or habitation, as well as pacing another person in imminent danger in any other way.
There are two ways that a person can commit the offense of deadly conduct in Texas:
Intentionally or knowingly discharging a firearm at or in the direction of:
One or more individuals; or
A habitation, building, or vehicle and being reckless about whether it is occupied.
Intentionally or knowingly engaging in conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death. This can include threatening another person with a deadly weapon or engaging in other dangerous or reckless behavior that puts another person at risk of serious harm.
It's important to note that the prosecution must prove that the defendant acted with the required level of intent to secure a conviction for deadly conduct.
The difference between deadly conduct and aggravated assault in Texas
In Texas, "deadly conduct" and "aggravated assault" are two distinct criminal offenses that are defined and punished under separate provisions of the Texas Penal Code.
"Deadly conduct" is defined as intentionally or knowingly engaging in conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, or that creates a substantial risk of serious bodily injury or death to another person. This can include discharging a firearm at an individual or habitation, as well as pacing another person in imminent danger in any other way.
"Aggravated assault," on the other hand, is defined as committing assault (i.e., intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causing bodily injury to another person, or threatening another person with imminent bodily injury) and either:
Using or exhibiting a deadly weapon during the commission of the assault; or
Causing serious bodily injury to the victim.
In summary, the key difference between deadly conduct and aggravated assault is that deadly conduct involves conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, whereas aggravated assault involves either causing bodily injury to another person or threatening them with imminent bodily injury and either using a deadly weapon or causing serious bodily injury.
Defenses to Deadly Conduct in Texas
Deadly conduct is a serious criminal offense in Texas that can result in significant prison time and fines if a person is convicted. If you have been charged with deadly conduct in Texas, it is important to understand the defenses that may be available to you and how you can use them to your advantage. Here are four common defenses to deadly conduct in Texas:
Alibi: One defense to deadly conduct is to provide an alibi, which is evidence that you were not present at the location where the offense occurred at the time it was committed. For example, you might present evidence that you were at work or with a friend at the time of the alleged offense. If you can provide a solid alibi, it may be difficult for the prosecution to prove that you were the one who committed the offense.
Self-defense: If you were acting in self-defense or in defense of another person when you allegedly committed deadly conduct, you may be able to use this as a defense. In order to claim self-defense, you must be able to show that you had a reasonable belief that you or someone else was in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, and that the conduct you engaged in was necessary to prevent that harm.
Lack of intent: In order to be convicted of deadly conduct in Texas, the prosecution must be able to prove that you acted intentionally or knowingly when you engaged in the conduct that placed another person in danger. If you can show that you did not act with the required level of intent, it may be difficult for the prosecution to secure a conviction against you.
Lack of evidence: Finally, another defense to deadly conduct is to challenge the sufficiency of the evidence against you. If the prosecution cannot provide enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the offense, you cannot be convicted. You may be able to challenge the credibility of the prosecution's witnesses, attack the reliability of any physical evidence that has been presented, or point out gaps in the prosecution's case to try to undermine their evidence.
It's important to note that every case is different, and the specific defenses that are available to you will depend on the circumstances of your case. If you have been charged with deadly conduct in Texas, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you understand your options and develop a strategy to defend yourself against the charges.