Deadly Conduct

Person driving a car with one hand and aiming a gun out the window with the other hand

Before making a decision about your deadly conduct charge, it is important to consider all of your defense options. It may seem like you’ve been charged with a small offense that can be easily combated alone. But Texas takes deadly conduct very seriously – whether or not a weapon is involved. A plea bargain may also not be the best option for you. After all, this is your future you are thinking about.

Depending on the case, a charge of deadly conduct could result in a Class A misdemeanor or a third-degree felony. An experienced Dallas County defense attorney can evaluate your case and show you which options – like negotiations, pretrial intervention, and going to trial – would be the most effective in your case. Remember, the prosecution must prove you are guilty of the deadly conduct charge beyond a reasonable doubt. There are several strategies available to you with the right defense attorney.

Dallas Deadly Conduct Defense Lawyer

Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy if you have been charged with allegedly committing a violent crime in or around Dallas County. We represent clients in communities such as Irving, Richardson, and Decatur.

With over two decades of experience, our legal team will fight for the best possible outcome in your case. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy has handled thousands of cases since 2002, and we’re equipped with the skills to fight for you. Call (972) 233-5700 today for your free consultation.


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Dallas Deadly Conduct Information Center

Overview of Deadly Conduct Under Tex. Penal Code § 22.05

There are four main forms of deadly conduct in the state of Texas. Deadly conduct is a specific type of assault. It closely resembles reckless conduct in other states, but with more of a focus on firearms. The four types of deadly conduct are:

  • Engaging in any activity that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury with reckless disregard for their safety
  • Discharging a firearm at or in the direction of a building or car with reckless disregard for whether or not it is occupied
  • Pointing a gun at another individual whether or not it is loaded and with or without intent to fire
  • Firing a firearm at or in the direction of another person with reckless disregard for their safety

The penalties for these offenses vary greatly depending on the involvement of weapons. An experienced criminal defense attorney could help navigate your case to a more appropriate or favorable outcome.


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Penalties for Deadly Conduct Charges in Texas

Deadly conduct without a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor and if you are convicted could result in:

  • $4,000 fine
  • Up to a year of jail time and/or probation
  • Participation in a diversion program related to incidents in your case
  • Criminal offense on your record
  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Inability to pursue specific career paths

Deadly conduct with a firearm is a third-degree felony and if you are convicted could result in:

  • $10,000 fine
  • Up to 10 years of jail time and/or probation
  • Participation in a probation-required diversion program
  • Inability to pursue specific career paths
  • Ineligibility to receive certain types of government assistance
  • Ineligibility to own or possess a firearm
  • Loss of ability to vote or hold public office

These penalties do not include any social consequences involved with the stigma of a conviction or subsequent jail time. However, a deadly conduct charge doesn’t necessarily have to end in a conviction. Contact an experienced Dallas County deadly conduct lawyer to discuss the options available for your case.


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Section 22.06 of the Texas Penal Code provides some exceptions to deadly conduct charges. If we can prove any of the following elements, it may be possible to drop your charges and dismiss the case:

  • No serious bodily injury was threatened or actually inflicted.
  • The victim provided consent for you to commit the alleged deadly conduct.
  • The victim understood the conduct to be a risk of their occupation, a recognized medical treatment, or a legitimate scientific experiment.

Gang members are specifically prohibited from claiming consent as a defense. If you committed deadly conduct as part of a gang initiation or regular gang activities, you will be barred from raising this defense in court.


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Additional Resources

Deadly Conduct | Texas Penal Code – The Texas Legislature provides an online version of Texas’s statutes, including the law governing deadly conduct. Visit this link to read the definition of the law and the penalties for committing deadly conduct in Texas.

Crime in Texas | Ken AndersonCrime in Texas is a book that provides a complete overview of Texas criminal law. Visit this link to read a short description of the evolution of the deadly conduct statute to cover drive-by shootings.

Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy | Plano Deadly Conduct Lawyer

Dallas criminal defense attorney Richard McConathy sits behind his deskThe state can charge you with deadly conduct for any action that could perceivably cause harm to another person present. The benefit to this kind of law is that there are as many defenses as possible charges.

If you have been charged with a violent crime in Dallas County, Tarrant County, Denton County, Collin County, or the surrounding areas, protect your rights and your future. Trust your case to an experienced Dallas firm that is dedicated to fighting for the most favorable outcome. Call Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today at (972) 233-5700 or complete our online form to schedule a free consultation.


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This article was last updated on Monday, January 28, 2019.

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