Most people associate arson charges with a scheme to defraud an insurance company. They picture someone setting fire to a warehouse or business and then trying to cash in on an inflated insurance check.
In reality, you can be charged with arson in Texas for such varied offenses as:
- Burning down weeds in a field without permission
- Setting fire in an abandoned building
- Setting fire to an old car that’s abandoned
- Intentionally lighting a fire that puts other people in danger
- Intentionally lighting a fire for warmth but letting it get out of control
- Accidentally setting a fire while manufacturing drugs
- Simply lighting a fire or causing an explosion — even if the fire burns out or the explosion is minor
Some of these acts may be impulsive and ill-considered. Others may involve poor decisions but lack any intent to cause harm. In the end, however, a conviction for arson will still carry a stiff penalty — even if the incident was never intended to cause serious harm or damage.
The Texas penal code considers arson to be a felony. Even if you are given minimal charges, you are facing up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If someone got injured, you could be facing life imprisonment. Even a “typical” arson charge, which is a second degree felony, could land you behind bars for up to 20 years.
A successful arson defense requires an aggressive defense and an experienced negotiator. It’s unwise to entertain a plea deal from the prosecutor’s office until an attorney has reviewed your case. Our office represents clients who have been charged with all manner of property crimes, including arson and will protect your rights. For more information, please contact us directly.