What Are the Charges for Arson in Texas?

Arson is defined as the act of starting a fire, regardless of whether it continues after ignition. A suspect can be charged even if the act doesn’t cause an explosion, destruction, or damage. In this blog, we’ll offer a closer look at the penalties for arson.

1. The Punishment for Arson

Arson is a second-degree felony and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and prison time of up to 20 years. If the fire caused injury to one or more people or if the property was a house or place of worship, the charge is upgraded to a first-degree felony. This may be punishable by life in prison and the same fine (up to $10,000).

Third-degree felonies carry a punishment of between two and ten years in prison. For state jail felonies, offenders serve between 180 days and two years in prison.

2. The Exceptions

The act is not considered arson if the fire was part of a controlled and supervised burning of open-space land. You can also fight your charges if you obtained a written authorization or permit before starting the fire or explosion.

3. The Arson Charge Defense

handcuffs of someone arrested for arsonIt’s important to understand that if you are charged with arson, your future and freedom are at stake. You are facing exorbitant fines and may spend a significant amount of time in jail—perhaps even life, depending on the impact and damage that the fire you are accused of starting caused. Keep in mind that property damage is a given in the minimal charges of arson, but if there is injury or loss of life, you could be facing manslaughter or murder charges depending on your intent in setting the fire.

If you were recently arrested for arson in Texas, make sure you consult an experienced, qualified, and detail-oriented criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney JL Carpenter has worked on numerous criminal cases over the years. Her track record indicates how successful she has been.

She creates a strong defense for her clients no matter what criminal charges they face. JL does her due diligence to cover the angles and unearth critical evidence to create reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors who will be deciding your fate. She’s recognized for her empathetic approach with her clients and wants you, as a client, to feel peace of mind that your case is being handled with the goal of getting your charges dismissed or, if they go to trial, getting a verdict of not guilty.

Take a closer look at her profile and experience. She has vast experience defending clients facing DWI, drug possession, family violence, domestic violence, and other criminal charges in the Houston area, including Clear Lake, Friendswood, and Webster.

Request a consultation when you’re ready to get started.