Penalties for the Different Degrees of Arson in Texas | What You Should Know.

Continue reading to discover the different penalties for the different arson offenses, as imposed by Texas law, and how an experienced Hidalgo County, Texas criminal defense lawyer at the Law Office of Angel Davila can help you build a defense against these charges.

What are the varying degrees of arson offenses?

Overall, the state of Texas typically acknowledges arson as a second-degree felony. It is charged as such when the following factors are relevant:

  • You purposely started the fire and knowingly placed another party in danger of death or serious bodily injury.
  • You purposely started the fire with the intention of destroying another party’s building or structure.
  • You purposely started the fire with the intention of collecting insurance for the destruction or damage of the property. And with this, you recklessly placed the other party in danger of death or serious bodily injury.
  • You purposely started the fire with the intention of destroying or damaging a structure to exempt it from any state, county, or local planning or zoning law regulation, ordinance, or enactment.
  • You purposely started the fire with the intention of destroying or damaging a forest.

However, certain circumstances allow arson to be classified as other types of felonies. They are as follows:

  • First-degree felony: you intentionally started the fire and it resulted in the serious bodily injury or death of another party. Or, you intentionally started the fire to destroy a habitation or a place of assembly or worship, such as a church, mosque, or synagogue.
  • Third-degree felony: you recklessly started the fire while manufacturing a controlled substance that resulted in the serious bodily injury or death of another party.
  • State jail felony: you recklessly started the fire while manufacturing a controlled substance that resulted in the damage of a building, habitation, or vehicle. Or, you intentionally started the fire that resulted in reckless damage or destruction to the building or injury or death of another party.

What are the varying penalties for arson offenses?

The specific penalties will depend on the specific circumstances of your offense. But generally speaking, below are the different prison sentences that are commonly associated with the different degrees of arson offenses:

  • First-degree felony: life in prison or a sentence of anywhere between five to 99 years.
  • Second-degree felony: a prison sentence anywhere between two to 20 years.
  • Third-degree felony: a prison sentence anywhere between two to 10 years.
  • State jail felony: a prison sentence anywhere between 180 days to two years.

Additionally, across the board, a fine of up to $10,000 may be sentenced in addition to the prison term.

If you require assistance in fighting off these charges or have any lingering questions, do not hesitate in contacting a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Mission, Texas today. We will help to reduce or eliminate these penalties altogether.

Contact Our Hidalgo County, Texas Firm

For quality legal defense for criminal convictions, family law matters, and estate planning matters, contact the Law Office of Angel Davila today.