Posts Tagged ‘Deadly Conduct’


Deadly Conduct | Fort Bend County Criminal Attorneys

Monday, September 18th, 2017

Deadly Conduct

Deadly conduct is a serious offense in Fort Bend county. Whether or not a weapon is involved, Texas takes these cases very seriously. Deadly conduct can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor or a Third Degree Felony depending on the circumstances. A conviction for a felony deadly conduct can result in severe penalties, including lengthy prison time and a large fine. Such a conviction can also adversely impact your future, such as by losing many educational, employment, housing and public assistance opportunities. Because your future is at stake, a plea bargain may not be the best choice for you.

It is important to hire an experienced Richmond, Texas criminal defense lawyer because criminal charges for deadly conduct do not have to result in a conviction and the resulting lifelong consequences. In order to convict you, the state prosecutor must prove to a jury that you committed every element of the misdemeanor or felony offense beyond a reasonable doubt. With an experienced trial lawyer defending you, this is a very difficult burden to meet, and any reasonable doubt in the mind of any of the members of the jury can result in a not guilty verdict or a hung jury. Also, depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be more effective options than going to trial such as a pretrial intervention agreement or deferred adjudication probation. Either way, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal attorney in Richmond who will fight for you.

Fort Bend County Deadly Conduct Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with committing the criminal offense of deadly conduct in Fort Bend county or any of the surrounding counties in Texas, contact the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates. With over 20 years of defense trial experience, Sullivan’s legal team will fight for you and use every legal strategy possible to get the best result. Call 281-546-6428 for a free phone consultation.

Deadly Conduct

According to Section 22.05 of the Texas Penal Code, there are several ways to commit deadly conduct. The conduct charged is essentially recklessness and with a primary focus on firearms. Deadly conduct is committed by:

  • Recklessly engages in conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury
  • Knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of:
    • one or more individuals, or
    • a house, building or car and is reckless as to whether or not it is occupied.

Recklessness and danger are presumed if the person knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the person believed the firearm to be loaded.

Some road rage behavior could be charged as deadly misconduct. For example, if a driver speeds through rush hour traffic, quickly changing lanes, cutting off other drivers or maneuvering on and off the emergency lane, he places other drivers in danger of serious bodily injury because his reckless actions could cause a motor vehicle accident or collision.

Serious Bodily Injury

According to Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code, serious bodily injury means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Recklessness

According to Section 6.03 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits a reckless act, not necessarily intending to harm another, but without regard for the result. If a person is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a likely result will occur, he or she acts recklessly.

For example, discharging a firearm at a street sign when there is a house directly behind it and in the line of fire, without intending to injure anyone, is reckless because the person is disregarding the risk that the house is occupied and a person inside could be seriously injured. In fact, Sullivan successfully defended a juvenile at a jury trial charged with deadly conduct under these circumstances.

Punishment for Deadly Conduct Charges in Fort Bend County

The punishment for this offense varies depending on whether a firearm was involved. Deadly conduct is charged as a Third Degree Felony when a firearm is involved and as a Class A Misdemeanor when a firearm is not involved.

Deadly conduct conviction as a Class A Misdemeanor could result in:

  • a fine up to $4,000
  • confinement in jail for up to one year and/or probation
  • a criminal record available to the public
  • a driver’s license suspension
  • prevented from pursuing certain careers
  • participation in a pre-trial diversion program
  • restitution, reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime

Deadly conduct conviction as a Third-Degree Felony could result in:

  • a fine up $10,000
  • imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or probation
  • a felony criminal record available to the public
  • prevented from pursuing certain careers
  • prevented from receiving certain kinds of governmental assistance
  • prevented from owning or possessing a firearm
  • prevented from voting or holding public office
  • participation in a pre-trial diversion program
  • restitution, reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime

In addition to this punishment, the stigma of a conviction or subsequent jail or prison time for deadly conduct carries negative social consequences. However, a conviction may not have to happen and that is why it is important to discuss your options with an experienced Harris County deadly conduct lawyer.

You can be charged by the state with deadly conduct for any action that could imminently cause serious harm to another person. Because the kinds of actions and circumstances are so broad, there are just as many possible defenses. If you have been charged with deadly conduct in Fort Bend county, or the surrounding areas, protect your rights, freedom and future.

Trust your case to an experienced Houston firm that is dedicated to fighting for the best outcome. Call the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates at 281-546-6428 for a free phone consultation.

James G. Sullivan and Associates | Fort Bend County Deadly Conduct Attorneys

James Sullivan graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial phone consultation at 281-546-6428 about your aggravated assault charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas.

Deadly Conduct | Houston Criminal Lawyer James Sullivan Fights for his Clients

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Deadly Conduct

Deadly conduct is a serious offense in Houston.  Whether or not a weapon is involved, Texas takes these cases very seriously.  Deadly conduct can be charged as a Class A Misdemeanor or a Third Degree Felony depending on the circumstances.  A conviction for a felony deadly conduct can result in severe penalties, including lengthy prison time and a large fine.  Such a conviction can also adversely impact your future, such as by losing many educational, employment, housing and public assistance opportunities. Because your future is at stake, a plea bargain may not be the best choice for you.

It is important to hire an experienced Houston criminal defense lawyer because criminal charges for deadly conduct do not have to result in a conviction and the resulting lifelong consequences.  In order to convict you, the state prosecutor must prove to a jury that you committed every element of the misdemeanor or felony offense beyond a reasonable doubt.  With an experienced trial lawyer defending you, this is a very difficult burden to meet, and any reasonable doubt in the mind of any of the members of the jury can result in a not guilty verdict or a hung jury.  Also, depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be more effective options than going to trial such as a pretrial intervention agreement or deferred adjudication probation.  Either way, it is vital to contact an experienced criminal attorney in Houston who will fight for you.

Houston Deadly Conduct Defense Lawyers

If you have been charged with committing the criminal offense of deadly conduct in Harris County or any of the surrounding counties in Texas, contact the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates.  With over 20 years of defense trial experience, Sullivan’s legal team will fight for you and use every legal strategy possible to get the best result.  Call 281-546-6428 for a free phone consultation.

Deadly Conduct

According to Section 22.05 of the Texas Penal Code, there are several ways to commit deadly conduct.  The conduct charged is essentially recklessness and with a primary focus on firearms.   Deadly conduct is committed by:

  • Recklessly engages in conduct that places another person in imminent danger of serious bodily injury
  • Knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of:
    • one or more individuals, or
    • a house, building or car and is reckless as to whether or not it is occupied.

Recklessness and danger are presumed if the person knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the person believed the firearm to be loaded.

Some road rage behavior could be charged as deadly misconduct.  For example, if a driver speeds through rush hour traffic, quickly changing lanes, cutting off other drivers or maneuvering on and off the emergency lane, he places other drivers in danger of serious bodily injury because his reckless actions could cause a motor vehicle accident or collision.

Serious Bodily Injury

According to Section 1.07 of the Texas Penal Code, serious bodily injury means bodily injury that creates a substantial risk of death or that causes death, serious permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

Recklessness

According to Section 6.03 of the Texas Penal Code, a person commits a reckless act, not necessarily intending to harm another, but without regard for the result.  If a person is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that a likely result will occur, he or she acts recklessly.

For example, discharging a firearm at a street sign when there is a house directly behind it and in the line of fire, without intending to injure anyone, is reckless because the person is disregarding the risk that the house is occupied and a person inside could be seriously injured.  In fact, Sullivan successfully defended a juvenile at a jury trial charged with deadly conduct under these circumstances.

Punishment for Deadly Conduct Charges in Harris County

The punishment for this offense varies depending on whether a firearm was involved.  Deadly conduct is charged as a Third Degree Felony when a firearm is involved and as a Class A Misdemeanor when a firearm is not involved.

Deadly conduct conviction as a Class A Misdemeanor could result in:

  • a fine up to $4,000
  • confinement in jail for up to one year and/or probation
  • a criminal record available to the public
  • a driver’s license suspension
  • prevented from pursuing certain careers
  • participation in a pre-trial diversion program
  • restitution, reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime

Deadly conduct conviction as a Third-Degree Felony could result in:

  • a fine up $10,000
  • imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or probation
  • a felony criminal record available to the public
  • prevented from pursuing certain careers
  • prevented from receiving certain kinds of governmental assistance
  • prevented from owning or possessing a firearm
  • prevented from voting or holding public office
  • participation in a pre-trial diversion program
  • restitution, reimbursing the victim for any expenses resulting from the crime

In addition to this punishment, the stigma of a conviction or subsequent jail or prison time for deadly conduct carries negative social consequences.  However, a conviction may not have to happen and that is why it is important to discuss your options with an experienced Harris County deadly conduct lawyer.

You can be charged by the state with deadly conduct for any action that could imminently cause serious harm to another person.  Because the kinds of actions and circumstances are so broad, there are just as many possible defenses.  If you have been charged with deadly conduct in Harris County, or the surrounding areas, protect your rights, freedom and future.

Trust your case to an experienced Houston firm that is dedicated to fighting for the best outcome. Call the law offices of James G. Sullivan and Associates at 281-546-6428 for a free phone consultation.

James G. Sullivan and Associates | Harris County Deadly Conduct Attorneys

James Sullivan graduated from the Trial Lawyers College founded by legendary lawyer Gerry Spence and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers organization. Sullivan has a proven record of defending people from all walks of life, faiths and countries in courts throughout Texas.

Contact James Sullivan & Associates for a free initial phone consultation at 281-546-6428 about your aggravated assault charges in Harris County (Houston), Montgomery County (Conroe), Fort Bend County (Richmond), Brazoria County (Angleton), Galveston County (Galveston), Matagorda County (Bay City), Waller County (Hempstead), Washington County (Brenham), Liberty County (Liberty), Chambers County (Anahuac), Jefferson County (Beaumont) and throughout Texas.

Anatomy of a Win – a Juvenile Deadly Conduct Case in Harris County

Friday, July 29th, 2016

James Sullivan graduated from Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College, the most selective and prestigious trial advocacy program in America. Sullivan is board certified in juvenile law and has a proven record of defending children in courts throughout southeast Texas.  In this post, Sullivan describes a recent jury trial win in Harris County juvenile court–

On July 11, I tried a felony deadly conduct case to a jury in juvenile court. My 15 year old client was falsely charged and it was blatant. I was hired in late May to replace the court-appointed attorney. Within a two week period of time, I had 3 separate detention hearings before 3 separate judges, and they all refused to release my client from detention. I was outraged at the system that kept an innocent child locked up on a false charge while the actual adult perpetrator got off easy with only 3 days in jail for a misdemeanor. So, on June 21, immediately after that third denial, I asked for a speedy jury trial and was able to secure a trial date within 3 weeks.  In Harris County, this was probably the fastest juvenile case ever to get to a jury trial–only 7 weeks from the date of arrest.

There was also a surveillance video that recorded the actual shooting. It seemed clear that my client was not the shooter, but the prosecutor turned a blind eye to the obvious and chose to “believe” three biased witnesses, including the investigating officer, who claimed that they “positively identified” my client from the video as the shooter. The actual shooter was a 21 year old man who had befriended and badly influenced my client. That man was drunk and shot a stop sign twice with his .40 caliber handgun and there was an occupied house across the street behind it. That man was actually arrested that night with unlawfully carrying a weapon and only spent 3 days in jail. The only issue at trial was: who shot the stop sign?

The day after the shooting a homeowner discovered that his security camera actually captured the incident, and two other neighbors (who were on the board of the HOA) lied and claimed that it was my client on the video who did the shooting. I believe they were angry that my client was not also arrested the night before. When the police arrested my client that next night, he happened to be wearing the same colored clothing as in the video, but it was still obvious based on the body size, hair style and other characteristics that my client was not the shooter. My client is 5’5″ and 130 lbs and the shooter is 5’7″ and 160 lbs.

I told the prosecutor to dismiss the case on June 21 after viewing the videotape. By then my client had already spent over 4 weeks in juvenile detention. After he refused to dismiss it, I set it for a jury trial.

The week before trial I spent several days in that neighborhood meeting with and interviewing witnesses to what really happened that night and who could also identify the two parties.  In addition to those 8 witnesses, I also filed a subpoena for the officer who arrested the actual shooter that night. Based on the video alone, I fully expected the prosecutor to dismiss the case the morning of trial. The prosecutor might have chosen to “believe” the unbelievable, but I thought he was smart enough to realize that a jury of 12 rational people would not be so easily duped. Apparently, he thought otherwise, so I got to have a great day getting justice for my client.

During cross-examination, I was able to get the arresting police officer to concede that he could not describe the shooter’s face, clothing type nor even the shooter’s race or ethnicity from a photo I made from the video.  Another  State’s witness (the president of the HOA), as soon as he took the witness stand, actually revealed his prejudice for all to see by calling my client a “peckerwood”.  During cross-examination, I got him to even identify my client as the non-shooter in the video!

Through cross-examination of his witnesses, I showed how blatantly false his witness’ accusations were. The prosecutor actually subpoenaed the actual shooter to trial but did not call him as a witness.  After the prosecutor rested his case, I then put on my 9 witnesses to tell the real story of what happened that night. I also called the shooter to the stand and among other things he admitted that he had a gun that night, pleaded guilty to the carrying a weapon charge and only spent 3 days in jail.

Right after the not guilty verdict was announced, both prosecutors hurried straight out of the courtroom.

Based on the descriptions of the two males above, you can look at the image and judge for yourself.

My client’s mother wrote a kind review on Avvo

In late May of 2016 my 15 year old son was arrested and taken to the juvenile detention center for a felony crime he did not commit, Deadly Conduct. After being falsely accused and wrongfully admitted to the Harris County Juvenile Detention Center, I met with and hired Mr. Sullivan. He walked us through the process and helped my family and son better understand what needed to be done. The day of the detention hearing in court, we had all of the proof and evidence to help get my son out of detention. The judge of the court was completely unjust. After refusing to consider the video evidence that proved my son’s innocence or to even hear from my family members who were willing to supervise my son at all times if released, the judge quickly ruled to keep my innocent son detained. Mr. Sullivan was furious at the system that caused my son to be arrested and held for a crime he did not commit while at the same time the adult who actually committed the crime was only charged with a misdemeanor and spent just a few days in jail. Mr. Sullivan immediately requested a trial by jury. We were able to get a trial setting in the next 3 weeks, which was amazing considering the fact that most cases take 3-6 months or longer to get to a trial. Mr. Sullivan explained that court-appointed attorneys such as the one first appointed to my son’s case never take cases to a jury trial, but instead only have bench trials where the judges make the final decision. If the court-appointed attorney had stayed on the case, my son would still be in detention and I believe he would probably have been found guilty by the judge. Instead, thanks to Mr. Sullivan my son was found innocent by a unanimous vote from the jury. Mr. Sullivan stopped at nothing to help our son and prove him innocent. My son walked out of detention 7 weeks later with no record. Mr. Sullivan’s knowledge of the criminal and juvenile justice systems helped in so many ways. Mr. Sullivan was not pushy, arrogant, or air-headed like most attorneys. Instead, he kept a down-to-earth low-profile, encouraged my son as if he were his own and won our case successfully and peacefully. Thank you so much Mr. Sullivan for helping my family and my son!

I was also interviewed by The Trial Lawyers College for their blog regarding the trial, my experiences learning their methods and my unique insight into juvenile defenses.

Arrested for Deadly Conduct?

Monday, July 4th, 2011

 

NTLA-roundDeadly Conduct

Houston Criminal Lawyers James Sullivan and Associates often represent people charged with Aggravated Assault or Deadly Conduct.  Many times, they are successful in getting the cases dismissed or reduced from a 2nd degree felony Aggravated Assault to a misdemeanor Deadly Conduct.

If you or a loved one need a Houston criminal attorney, contact James Sullivan at (281) 546-6428 for a confidential consultation. Sullivan gets proven results in misdemeanor and felony criminal and juvenile cases in Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. Sullivan attended Gerry Spence’s Trial Lawyers College and was invited to join The National Trial Lawyers association.

Texas Penal Code, Section 22.05 – Deadly Conduct

CHAPTER 22. ASSAULTIVE OFFENSES
§ 22.05.  DEADLY CONDUCT.
(a)  A person commits an offense if he recklessly engages in conduct that places another in imminent danger of serious bodily injury.
(b)  A person commits an offense if he knowingly discharges a firearm at or in the direction of:
(1)  one or more individuals;
(2)  a habitation, building, or vehicle and is reckless as to whether the habitation, building, or vehicle is occupied.
(c)  Recklessness and danger are presumed if the actor knowingly pointed a firearm at or in the direction of another whether or not the actor believed the firearm to be loaded.
(d)  For purposes of this section, “building,” “habitation,” and “vehicle” have the meanings assigned those terms by Section 30.01.
(e)  An offense under Subsection (a) is a Class A misdemeanor.  An offense under Subsection (b) is a felony of the third degree.