Defending Against a Criminal Arson Charges in Austin, TX
Fires can start in homes and other structures for a variety of reasons. However, when a person deliberately or recklessly sets a structure in Austin on fire, the individual who is responsible may be charged with arson.
The potential penalties for an arson conviction in Austin can be significant. If you or a person you love is currently facing a criminal arson charge, the experienced legal team of Austin arson lawyers at Granger and Mueller PC can help. Our legal team will review the circumstances that form the basis for the criminal charge and explore your legal options with you. Our team is committed to helping you pursue the best possible result in your criminal case, whether that be through a solid legal defense or a favorable plea deal with the prosecuting attorney.
The Burden of Proof in a Criminal Arson Case
As in all criminal cases, the state prosecutor has the burden of proving that you are guilty of the underlying charge beyond a reasonable doubt. When it comes to arson, the State may be charging you with first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree felony arson. In some instances, the crime of arson may be a state jail felony.
The Texas Penal Code divides arson charges into varying degrees based on the seriousness of the offense. First-degree felony arson is arguably the most serious arson charge.
In order to be convicted of first-degree arson, the prosecution must demonstrate that you deliberately began a fire that led to the bodily injury or death of another human being. A person may also be convicted of first-degree felony arson if he or she starts a fire with the specific intention of destroying a place of assembly, church, or home.
A person may be convicted of second-degree arson (the most common type of arson) if he or she sets fire to something with the intention of only bringing about property damage – as opposed to death or serious bodily harm to someone else.
An individual may be convicted of third-degree arson for starting a fire in an extremely reckless or careless manner, while he or she manufactures some type of controlled substance, causing another person to suffer death or serious bodily injury or harm.
State Jail Felony
Finally, an individual may be convicted of a state jail felony if he or she recklessly begins a fire, while he or she produces some type of controlled substance, and that causes a vehicle, building, or home to suffer damage as a result.
An individual may also be convicted of a state jail felony if he or she begins a fire that leads to reckless damage or destruction to the structure, or where an individual suffers a bodily injury or reckless death as a result.
Speak with an Austin Arson Lawyer Today About Your Legal Defense
If you are ultimately convicted of an arson charge, you can suffer significant penalties, including jail time and high monetary fines. Let the knowledgeable legal team at Granger and Mueller PC assist you with your defense today. For a free legal consultation and case evaluation with an Austin arson attorney, please contact us online.