Safian v. Texas

At issue for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in this case was whether, in a prosecution for aggravated assault by threat in which it was alleged that the defendant used or exhibited a motor vehicle as a deadly weapon, the defendant was entitled to a lesser-included-offense instruction on deadly conduct. The trial court rejected the request by appellant Anthony Safian for such an instruction, and the court of appeals upheld that ruling by determining that, as a matter of law, deadly conduct was not a lesser-included offense of the charged offense under these circumstances. The Court of Criminal Appeals disagreed: Texas case law from Bell v. Texas, 693 S.W.2d 434 (1985), deadly conduct, as a matter of law, was a lesser-included offense of aggravated assault by threat when it was alleged that the defendant used a deadly weapon during the commission of the offense. In this case, the Court reached the same holding. Accordingly, the court of appeals was reversed. Because the court of appeals analyzed only the first step of the two-step analysis for determining whether appellant was entitled to a lesser-included offense instruction, the case was remanded for that court to conduct the second step of that analysis. View "Safian v. Texas" on Justia Law