If you’ve just been arrested for Arson in Travis County, you probably have a thousand questions racing through your mind. What can I do now? What is the process? Will I go back to jail?
You need experienced Austin arson attorneys who understand the Travis County court system inside and out. We zealously represent your rights throughout this process and answer all the questions you have along the way.
Our team has a combined 30+ years of experience helping people charged with Arson in Austin. We will tell you what to expect and how to improve the chances of getting the best result. Having experienced attorneys can make the difference between getting your case dismissed or being convicted.
What is Arson?
Arson in Texas, as defined by the Texas Penal Code, is the intentional or reckless starting of a fire or causing an explosion with the intent to destroy or damage any vegetation, fence, or structure on open-space land or any building, habitation, or vehicle:
- Intentional Damage: The person starts the fire or causes the explosion with the intent to destroy or damage the property.
- Recklessness: The act is done recklessly, without concern for the safety of others or the consequences of the action.
- Damage to Property: The target can be any building, habitation, vehicle, vegetation, fence, or structure on open-space land.
- Circumstances: The offense becomes more severe if it's committed under certain conditions, like if the property is a home or a place of worship, or if the act results in bodily injury or death.
What are the consequences of Arson?
In Texas, the penalties for arson vary based on the severity of the crime and the specific circumstances involved. Here's a general overview:
State Jail Felony: If the property damaged was a fence, vegetation, or an open-space structure, and the damage was less than $20,000, it is considered a state jail felony. Penalties include 180 days to 2 years in a state jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Third-Degree Felony: Arson becomes a third-degree felony if the damage is more than $20,000, or if a building or habitation was damaged or destroyed. The punishment can include 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-Degree Felony: If someone suffers bodily injury because of the arson, it is classified as a second-degree felony. This can result in 2 to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
First-Degree Felony: Arson is elevated to a first-degree felony if it's determined that the intent was to cause death or serious bodily injury, or if the property was a habitation or place of assembly or worship. The penalties include 5 to 99 years, or life in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.
Contact The Law Office of Charlie Roadman to handle your Texas Assault With Bodily Injury Case
Hiring a lawyer for an Arson case in Texas (or for any criminal case, for that matter) is crucial for several reasons:
Understanding the Law: Texas law can be intricate, with nuances and specifics that laypeople might not understand. Our lawyers know the Texas Penal Code and relevant case law and can provide guidance on how it applies to your specific situation.
Protection of Rights: Our lawyers ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process. This includes making sure law enforcement does not violate your rights, such as the right to remain silent or the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Negotiation Skills: If there's potential for a plea bargain or reduced sentence, our experienced lawyers can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf.
Evidence Evaluation: Our lawyers will evaluate the evidence against you, challenge its admissibility in court, and potentially uncover exculpatory evidence that might exonerate or favor you.
Trial Experience: If your case goes to trial, you'll want someone experienced to represent you. Courtroom procedures can be complex, and hiring us ensures you present the best possible defense.
Understanding the Consequences: Beyond just the immediate criminal penalties, a conviction can have long-term consequences, such as impacting employment opportunities, professional licenses, and even child custody matters. We can advise you about these potential outcomes and work to mitigate negative consequences.
WHEN SHOULD I HIRE AN ATTORNEY?
Immediately. An attorney should be working on your case right away. We want to talk to witnesses as soon as possible and protect any evidence that will help the case. Hiring an attorney is also a good way to alleviate the stress and anxiety that comes with being arrested.
CAN An assault CHARGE BE DISMISSED?
Yes, but it depends on the circumstances of the arrest and what you are willing to do while the case is pending. We have negotiated hundreds of dismissals in Travis County using our knowledge and experience of what works in Austin. In order to help us get the best result, we will create a customized Action Plan for you.
ONE OF MY FRIENDS/FAMILY WAS ARRESTED FOR assault. WILL THEY GET OUT OF JAIL AUTOMATICALLY?
No. They must qualify for a personal bond. And even if they do qualify, it can take 24 hours or more to be released. We can speed up the process significantly. And trust us, everyone wants out of jail as soon as possible. HERE IS MORE INFO ON JAIL RELEASES.