Texas Arson Lawyer
"Arson is having the intent to cause damage or injury to persons."
"The penalties for arson can be harsh depending on the intent that was related."
What is Arson in Texas?
Arson is a criminal charge leveled by Chapter 28 of the Texas Penal Code. Arson is defined as intentionally or recklessly starting a fire or explosion with intent to cause damage to property or with disregard for the safety of property or people. This is what a skilled criminal defense attorney will make the prosecution prove beyond reasonable doubt.
What are the different types of Arson?
Determining an arson charge is dependent on intention. A person must commit the act while:
- Knowing it was within city limits
- Knowing it was insured against damage
- Knowing it is subject to a mortgage or security interest
- Knowing it was located on someone else’s property
- Being reckless about the life of another person or jeopardizing the safety of someone else’s property
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Motivations for Arson
Sometimes people commit arson for a variety of reasons. Whether the intention was to cause damage or harm to a structure or building or to offer harm and intimidation to a person, some of the motivations for arson are:
- Financial gain from insurance payouts
- Attempted murder or assault
- Concealing evidence of another crime
- A fire caused by another illegal activity, such as manufacturing methamphetamine
Intentions affect the penalties of Arson
The motivations behind the arson have a huge impact on the severity of the penalties leveled by the court. For example: if a person started a fire intentionally to clear brush, and that fire spread unintentionally and damaged a bard, that
A person who starts a fire or explosion that damages property while committing the act of manufacturing narcotics will likely be facing a State Jail Felony.
Legal Penalties for Arson in Texas
You need to hire an experience attorney to aggressively fight for your case. Your lawyer will need to tear apart the prosecution’s case and keep your penalties reasonable. The act of intentionally starting a fire or explosion for the purpose of destroying property is a second-degree felony in Texas.
This crime is punishable by:
- 2-20 Years in Prison
- A fine up to $10,000
The Law Firm of Matthew Pillado PLLC has the legal defense team that you need to defend your rights and your future. Our arson lawyer will keep the facts clear, limit the penalties leveled by the courts and minimize the amount of restitution that must be paid to the property owners for repairs. Proper legal representation is essential to your future.
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Texas Penal Code
PENAL § 28.02. Arson
(a) A person commits an offense if the person starts a fire, regardless of whether the fire continues after ignition, or causes an explosion with intent to destroy or damage:
(1) any vegetation, fence, or structure on open-space land; or
(2) any building, habitation, or vehicle:
(A) knowing that it is within the limits of an incorporated city or town;
(B) knowing that it is insured against damage or destruction;
(C) knowing that it is subject to a mortgage or other security interest;
(D) knowing that it is located on property belonging to another;
(E) knowing that it has located within it property belonging to another; or
(F) when the person is reckless about whether the burning or explosion will endanger the life of some individual or the safety of the property of another.
(a-1) A person commits an offense if the person recklessly starts a fire or causes an explosion while manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance and the fire or explosion damages any building, habitation, or vehicle.
(a-2) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally starts a fire or causes an explosion and in so doing:
(1) recklessly damages or destroys a building belonging to another; or
(2) recklessly causes another person to suffer bodily injury or death.
(b) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) that the fire or explosion was a part of the controlled burning of open-space land.
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(2)(A) that prior to starting the fire or causing the explosion, the actor obtained a permit or other written authorization granted in accordance with a city ordinance, if any, regulating fires and explosions.
(d) An offense under Subsection (a) is a felony of the second degree, except that the offense is a felony of the first degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that:
(1) bodily injury or death was suffered by any person by reason of the commission of the offense; or
(2) the property intended to be damaged or destroyed by the actor was a habitation or a place of assembly or worship.
(e) An offense under Subsection (a-1) is a state jail felony, except that the offense is a felony of the third degree if it is shown on the trial of the offense that bodily injury or death was suffered by any person by reason of the commission of the offense.
(f) An offense under Subsection (a-2) is a state jail felony.
(g) If conduct that constitutes an offense under Subsection (a-1) or that constitutes an offense under Subsection (a-2) also constitutes an offense under another subsection of this section or another section of this code, the actor may be prosecuted under Subsection (a-1) or Subsection (a-2), under the other subsection of this section, or under the other section of this code.