Arson is a felony crime for which conviction can mean heavy fines and even jail time.
If you’re facing arson charges, it’s imperative you take action before a conviction. A Dallas arson lawyer can help provide the best possible defense structured on the facts of your case.
In the state of Texas, arson is defined as starting a fire with the intent to destroy or damage property. One notable point in the state’s definition of arson is that it doesn’t matter if the fire actually continues after ignition—a fire started with intent to damage or destroy is good enough to fit the state’s definition.
Some of the property that falls under Texas’ understanding of arson could include:
In addition, Texas’ stance on the destruction of the stated types of property is qualified by certain other considerations. These include, for example, that the property be within the limits of a city or town; that the property is insured or mortgage-backed; or that the property belongs to another person.
For example, setting fire to a junker car that you’ve totally paid off on your own property probably wouldn’t be considered arson. Intentionally setting ablaze a home for which you currently pay a monthly mortgage in order to perpetuate insurance fraud, on the other hand, would be.
Another factor that could weigh on possible arson charges is a personal injury to another person as the result of a fire or explosion. In this way, even those conducting a legal controlled burn could be in trouble if the result of that fire is injury.
Most people facing arson charges in Dallas choose to speak to an Dallas criminal defense lawyer immediately. This is because the consequences of an arson-related conviction in Texas can be grave.
Most of the time, Texas views arson as a second-degree felony, which can carry between two and twenty years in prison. Depending on the nature of your case, however, the charges can vary in severity.
For example, intentionally setting fire to a place of worship and causing bodily injury or death is a first-degree felony resulting in a sentence of five years to life. Other fires, such as those associated with the production of illicit substances, can be classified as a felony in the third degree and can result in up to ten years in prison.
To any of the above felonies can also be tacked on a fine of up to $10,000.
Beyond the threat of jail time and fines, an arson conviction in Dallas will radically impact the outlook of your personal and professional life. You will have difficulties renting property or finding a job for the rest of your life. This is why partnering with a Dallas arson attorney to possibly beat conviction is crucial.
A Dallas arson-related conviction will have devastating consequences. You need the services of an experienced lawyer who can provide you with a robust legal defense. Trusted in Dallas, Chris Lewis & Associates P.C. help people facing even the toughest charges clear their names and get back to their lives.
Want to speak with a Dallas Arson Lawyer from our firm? Call 214-984-3113 or fill out the form on this page to schedule a case consultation.