Earlier this month, a man attempted to evade Denton police by hiding under a pile of clothes, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle. Reportedly, the police were searching for the man because he was the subject of a domestic disturbance call they received earlier that evening. The call came from a woman who claimed that her ex-boyfriend hit the windshield of her car with a pistol and then attempted to get into her vehicle.
The incident began when the woman and her sister showed up at her ex’s apartment to retrieve the keys to her car. The ex-boyfriend let the woman and her sister into his apartment, but then the woman and her ex got into an argument that resulted in her on the floor with him on top of her. The woman was able to escape, and she made a break for her car. The ex-boyfriend pursued her with a pistol. He hit her car with the pistol twice.
The Denton police arrived after receiving the domestic disturbance call. After they entered the apartment, they found the man hiding under a pile of clothes in the bedroom closet. They arrested him for disorderly conduct and displaying a firearm.
What Are the Penalties for Displaying a Firearm in Texas?
Displaying a firearm (also known as unlawfully brandishing a weapon) can result in you facing a deadly conduct charge in Texas. Deadly conduct is defined as using a weapon in a reckless, threatening, or dangerous manner. Deadly conduct can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. Whether deadly conduct results in misdemeanor or felony charges depends on several factors, such as:
- Unloaded versus Loaded Weapons – You can be charged with deadly conduct whether you are handling a loaded or unloaded weapon. For example, if you point a gun at a person, even if the gun is unloaded, that is still considered deadly conduct.
- Intent – People who are charged with deadly conduct must act intentionally but that does not mean that their intention is to harm others. For instance, if someone is cleaning their gun and it accidentally goes off, that is not deadly conduct. However, if you are hunting and you fire a shot at a building without checking if anyone is inside, that is deadly conduct. This is because even if you fired the gun at the building without the intent to harm anyone, you still used your weapon without regard for the safety of others.
- Risk of Harm – Just using a weapon to threaten someone with harm can result in a deadly conduct charge. For example, if you point a gun at a person, even if you don’t fire the gun or intend to fire the gun, you still threatened them with serious bodily harm, which is grounds for a deadly conduct charge.
- Bodily Injury – For a person to be charged with deadly conduct, the person must place others at risk of serious bodily injury. Serious bodily injury does not include minor injuries, such as scrapes and bruises. Instead, it involves severe injuries, like those that can lead to death, permanent disfigurement, or long-term/lifelong disability.
- Firing a Weapon – Discharging a firearm in the direction of a person is grounds for a deadly conduct charge. In addition, if a person fires a weapon in the direction a vehicle, building, or other structure without knowing whether it is occupied, that is grounds for a deadly conduct charge.
The penalties that someone can face if they are convicted of deadly conduct in Texas include the following:
- Fines – For a misdemeanor deadly conduct conviction, a person can face fines of up to $4,000. A felony conviction can result in fines up to $10,000. In some cases, fines will be the sole punishment. In other instances, fines will be imposed in addition to other penalties.
- Probation – People convicted of deadly conduct can face a minimum of a year of probation. This includes reporting to a probation officer, submitting to searches of their home and vehicles, and being prohibited from possessing a firearm. In addition, a probation violation can result in prison time.
- Prison – A misdemeanor deadly conduct conviction can result in up to a year in prison. A felony conviction can result in up to 10 years in prison.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer for a Free Case Evaluation Today!
Facing a displaying a firearm charge in Texas? Don’t leave your fate up to just any criminal defense attorney. The prosecution is going to do everything within their power to convict you and punish you to the full extent of the law. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer with a history of success representing you.
For almost 25 years, Derek A. Adame, Attorney at Law has been handling criminal cases. Before establishing himself as one of Denton County’s premiere defense lawyers, Attorney Adame was a prosecutor. He served as the Harris County District Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutor for Family Violence Offenses and Chief Prosecutor for DWI Offenses. Attorney Adame’s time as a prosecutor gives him an advantage as a defense attorney because he knows the strategies that the prosecution will use against his clients and how to defend his clients against the prosecution’s tactics.
If you are facing charges for displaying a firearm in Texas, call us at 940.441.4239 today to speak with our experienced criminal defense lawyer about your situation or schedule a free case evaluation.