San Antonio Arson Attorney

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The laws regarding arson crimes in Texas are broad. People oftentimes think that arson entails setting fire to a building or home on purpose, but an arson offense can come about from other acts as well. A person can be charged with arson for setting fire to any open- space land, not just buildings.

The penalties for an arson conviction are harsh and can be charged as a felony in the state of Texas. The degree of the crime will vary by the exact offense and the consequences follow according to the degree. Facing an arson crime? Team up with a San Antonio criminal defense attorney from The Law Office of John J. Fox for help in your arson case.

Don't face these charges alone. Call The Law Office of John J. Fox today at (210) 460-1221 to learn how we can help.

What determines an arson charge?

Charges of arson can follow an act of starting a fire or causing an explosion with the intent to damage vegetation, a fence, a structure on open land, any building, a vehicle or a habitation. A person's intention has a lot to do with the type of arson charge that they receive. An arson charge can come about if a person set fire to a building while:

  • Knowing it was in 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

There are exceptions to the arson laws in Texas; however, and intentionally starting a fire does not necessarily mean the act was arson. The first exception would be if someone was to start a fire for the purpose of controlled burning of open- space land. Another exception would be if a person started a fire and contained written authorization in accordance with relevant ordinances. Fire is used to clear areas for many reasons and it is not considered an act of arson to do so.

Penalties for Arson in Texas

An arson offense can be charged as a first degree felony if someone dies or suffers from serious injuries as a result of the act. If there was an intent to kill, the defendant can be charged for murder and can receive a life sentence in prison. A first degree felony arson charge is punishable by between five and 99 years in prison (life in prison) along with a possible fine of up to $10,000.

If the act of arson was intended to cause and end up only causing damage to property, it can be charged as a second degree felony. If the establishment that was damaged was a place of worship or a home, it can be considered a first-degree felony with increased penalties.

Second-degree felony charges for arson include the following penalties:

  • 2-20 years in prison
  • Fines up to $10,000

If the act of arson was intentional and the damage was reckless, it is considered a state jail felony with the potential for six months to 2 years in jail

Receive your free initial consultation today!

If you are facing any type of arson charge you are in need of representation from the best criminal defense attorney in San Antonio. Contact The Law Office of John J. Fox to schedule a free case evaluation and see how we can help you. We have years of experience helping clients who are facing criminal charges and have had ample success in reducing or even dismissing charges.

To begin discussing your legal options, contact our firm today!

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