The team of criminal defense attorneys at McLemore, Reddell & Story, P.L.L.C. in Houston provides exceptional representation to people charged in all manner of felony and misdemeanor offenses. Many Harris County criminal defense attorneys tout experience handling DUI and drug cases and a few other common charges faced by defendants in Texas courts. We readily and skillfully represent clients accused of frequently charged offenses, but also have specific experience defending people accused of less common crimes, such as arson. (See Felony Arson Case Dismissed.)
Facing Arson Charges in Texas
Under the Texas Penal Code, a person may be charged with arson if he or she allegedly started a fire (regardless of whether the fire continued after ignition), or caused an explosion, with the intent to destroy or damage certain property. Property may include vegetation, fencing, or a structure on open-space land, or any building, habitation, or vehicle in any one of the following circumstances:
- The person allegedly knew that the property was within the limits of an incorporated city or town;
- The person allegedly knew that the property was insured against damage or destruction;
- The person allegedly knew that the property was subject to a mortgage or other security interest;
- The person allegedly knew that the damaged or destroyed property was located on property belonging to another;
- The person allegedly knew that the property of another was located within the damaged or destroyed property; or
- The person was reckless about whether the burning or explosion would endanger the life of some individual or the safety of the property of another.
A person may also be charged with arson, if he or she recklessly starts a fire or causes an explosion while manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance (often methamphetamine, or meth), and the fire or explosion damages any building, habitation, or vehicle. In this situation, and also if an insurance policy or debt is attached to the property at issue, you may be charged with arson for destroying or damaging your own property.
Seek Advice from an Experienced Houston Defense Attorney after an Arrest
If you or a loved one has been accused of arson, even if charges have not yet been filed in a “suspicious” fire case, it is imperative to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your rights and options going forward. In Houston, please contact McLemore, Reddell & Story, P.L.L.C. for immediate assistance. Our attorneys have successfully handled arson cases in the past, and we can help you now.