We have all lost our temper a time or two, and these situations usually dissipate without any real problems. Sometimes, however, such incidents end in assault charges. If you exercise your right to bear arms in the State of Texas, it leaves you more likely to face charges of deadly conduct. As such, it is important to understand better deadly conduct charges and what they entail.
Deadly Conduct and Reckless Behavior
In the State of Texas, deadly conduct refers to the crime of recklessly engaging in any conduct that puts another person in imminent danger of being seriously injured. These charges are very focused on the potential harm associated with the use of firearms. Deadly conduct charges are usually reserved for those cases where the accused was acting recklessly rather than with the intention of harming someone else. Recklessness is presumed when the person in question knowingly points a firearm at someone else – regardless of whether he or she knows it to be unloaded or not.
The Rights and Responsibilities of Bearing Arms
Yes, you have the right – within exacting parameters – to bear arms in the State of Texas, but this right comes with significant responsibilities. Deadly conduct obviously constitutes irresponsibility, and these charges are grouped into four categories that include:
Engaging in Reckless Behavior
Reckless behavior is the lowest level charge of deadly conduct, and actions such as road rage may be so classified. This Class A misdemeanor does not have to involve a weapon at all.
Firing a Weapon
While you are within your legal limits to fire your gun at an old vehicle or derelict barn that you know to be abandoned and empty, it is your responsibility to make sure that the vehicle or barn is, indeed, empty. Not to do so can lead to a felony charge of deadly conduct.
Pointing a Weapon at Another Person
Basic gun safety requires that you never point a gun at someone else unless you have a serious and legitimate reason for doing so. When not in use, your gun should always be pointed at the ground. Pointing a gun at another person – even if you sincerely believe that the gun is empty and you have no intention of firing it – can end in felony deadly conduct charges.
Firing at Another Person
Recklessly firing your gun at another person or in the general direction of another person is a felony. Accidentally firing or failing to make sure that the area was clear before firing are two examples of this deadly conduct charge.