Where a defendant points a shotgun in the direction of an officer before complying when told to drop it, may he be charged with terroristic threat on public servant where he never made a verbal threat? Is there a better way to charge this?
You may want to charge it as Deadly Conduct under PC 22.05(a).
I think that's exactly what we should do. Thanks!
Arron P. Swink
Assistant County Attorney
Cherokee County, Texas
There's no public servant enhancement.
It's only a felony if the firearm is pointed at or in the direction of a vehicle.
Reckless is easy to prove if your officer can articulate "at or in the direction of" but your typical defense will be, "had a right to" under some gun right.
For instance, at night on my land, I pointed a shotgun at a prowler, who turned out to be an officer (who wasn't wearing a clear uniform, or couldn't clearly see the uniform at night, etc.) searching for a fleeing suspect.
Sec. 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; or
(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.
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