What is a Deadly Weapon in Texas?
Pictures: (a) revolver (b) BB gun (c) car, (d) pillow (e) hot water, (f) underpants
a) both a and b
b) both c and d
c) both e and f
d) a only
e) All of the above
If you answered e) than you know Texas deadly weapons extend to a long list of objects.
Deadly Weapon Under Texas Law
Deadly Weapon applies to felony offenses and is defined in Texas Penal Code Section 1.07 as:
(A) a firearm or anyhing manifestly designed made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury (i.e. deadly weapon by design); or
(B) anything that in the manner or its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury (i.e. deadly weapon by use”).
Under subsection (B) objects that are generally not considered dangerous by design may become so by the manner in which they are used in the offense. Thomas v. State, 821 S.W.2d 616, 620 (Tex. Crim. App. 1991). The object must be used in a manner capable of causing death or serious bodily injury to fall into the deadly weapon class. McCain v. State, 22 S.W.3d 497, 503 (Tex. Crim. App. 2000). To sustain a deadly weapon finding the evidence must demonstrate: (1) the object meets the definition of a deadly weapon; (2) the deadly weapon was used or exhibited during the transaction on which the felony is based; and (3) other people were put in actual danger.
“Firearm” means any device designed, made, or adapted to expel a projectile through a barrel by using the energy generated by an explosion or burning susbtance or any device readily convertible to that use.
“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.
Texas Deadly Weapon
Short Long List
The following have all been found to be a deadly weapon by design: firearm, bayonet, shank
The following have all been found to be a deadly weapon by manner of use: axe handle, baseball bat, BB gun, belt buckle, board, bottle, club, drugs, dustpan, fire, flashlight, floor, foot, gasoline, class decanter, hammer, hand, HIV-positive person, knife, mixture of sedatives, motor vehicle, nailgun, nunchakus, pillow, rope, scissors, screwdriver, seminal fluid, spear, stick, straight razor, underpants, hot water.
Why It Matters: the Consequences of a Deadly Weapon Finding
A deadly weapon can be attached as a special issue in a number of criminal accusations such as, assault, aggravated assault, manslaughter, homicide, intoxication offenses, drug offenses, etc.
If a person is convicted of a crime involving a deadly, the person is ineligible to receive probation from a judge.
If a jury recommends probation and finds a deadly weapon was used or exhibited the judge may place the convicted in prison for a term of 60 to 120 days.
A deadly weapon finding also requires a person serve at least one-half of their prison sentence before being eligible for parole.
The question seems to be not what is, but what is not considered a deadly weapon in Texas.