Intentionally damaging a building by setting a fire or causing an explosion can lead to serious criminal charges of arson. The consequences for arson can be extremely high due to the hazardous nature of the act itself and should not be taken lightly. Arson is usually charged as a felony, which means you could be facing time in prison.
Any amount of damage to a building can qualify as an arson offense, regardless of how significant the explosion was. For example, an individual may not have had the intention of damaging a structure and set the fire for a different purpose. Simply, the act of starting a fire is enough. The alleged offender must have intent to damage the building in some way for the act to be considered arson. A conviction for arson comes with heavy penalties including fines and serving time in prison.
If you have been accused of arson, it is in your best interest to contact The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. .
Arson Defense Attorney in Brownsville, Texas
The motto at The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. is “we work hard, so you rest easy.” It’s a testament to the kind of dedication we provide. We are aggressive in fighting for the rights of our clients, especially those that have been charged with arson.
If you have been accused with arson, it is important that you retain a criminal defense lawyer. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. has represented clients investigated and charged with property crimes for over a decade. Don’t let an arson offense ruin your future. Call 956-504-2211 for a free consultation. Our arson defense attorneys represent clients throughout Texas including Rio Grande Valley, Houston, San Benito, and Mercedes, TX.
What Determines an Arson Charge?
Under Texas Penal Code § 28.02, an individual commits an arson offense if they start a fire or cause an explosion with the intent to destroy or damage any vegetation, fence, or structure on an open-space land; or any building, vehicle or habitation.
These acts can result in an arson charge if the person set fire to a building knowing:
- It was in city/town limits
- It was insured against destruction
- It was located on someone’s else property
- It was subject to a mortgage or security interest
- It contained property belonging to another person
Additionally, under this law, a person is charged with the offense if they are reckless about endangering the life of another individual or the safety of someone else’s property. The degree of the crime varies by the offense.
Arson Charges in Brownsville, Texas
The penalties for an arson conviction in Texas are serious and could change your life indefinitely. If someone was injured or killed by a fire, the offense is charged as a first-degree felony. This also includes if the property was a church or habitation. Penalties for a first-degree felony in Texas ranges between 5 to 99 years in prison and/or fines up to $10,000.
If the act of arson was intended to cause damage to the building, it is considered a second-degree felony. Penalties include serving at a minimum of 2 years in prison and up to a maximum of 20 years as well as fines up to $10,000.
If the act of arson was related to the manufacturing of a controlled substance and bodily injury or death occurred, it is classified as a third-degree felony. A conviction for a third-degree felony may result in a prison sentence ranging between 2 to 10 years and fines up to $10,000.
If the arson charge was related to the manufacturing of a controlled substance, but it did not cause bodily injury or death, it is classified as a state jail felony. Penalties for a state jail felony include up 6 months with a maximum of 2 years in state jail and fines up to $10,000.
Texas Department of Insurance – The Texas Department of Insurance allows people to report incidents through their Texas Fire Incident Reporting System (TEXFIRS). Data submitted to the TEXFIRS is then uploaded to the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS). The information is used to manage incident reporting and provide incident report trainings to the fire department. The website also has a toll-free arson hotline where the public can report any suspicious activity involving fires.
Texas A&M Forest Service – Visit the website to view the wildland arson hotline. The Texas A&M Forest Service are dedicated to preventing and stopping arsonists in order to protect lives, minimize property loss and provide for firefighter safety.
Brownsville Arson Attorney in Texas
If you have been accused of arson in Texas, it is imperative that you speak to a Brownsville arson offense law firm such as The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. . Defending arson allegations can be a complex process, but our fierce criminal defense attorneys will fight aggressively on your behalf. We are dedicated to helping you ease out of such a fearsome and stressful situation.
Call 956-504-2211 or complete an online contact form to have a Brownsville arson offense lawyer Jonathan Gracia review your case. The Gracia Law Firm, P.C. represents communities all over Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County Texas.