Arson Charges Lawyer — Shahin Zamir
Allegations of arson are taken seriously by law enforcement officers and investigators. Arson investigations are carried out when a fire significantly damages property or endangers people.
In some cases, even relatively minor blazes can warrant an official investigation. Being charged with the crime of arson can have serious consequences if a criminal conviction is secured.
Call Houston attorney Shahin Zamir: 713-223-8900.
In most jurisdictions, arson is classified as a property crime. This means that the punishments for such a crime can vary based on the amount of property that is damaged. In order to convict someone of arson, the prosecution must prove several elements.
- First, the prosecution must provide evidence that the alleged offender intentionally started a fire or caused an explosion. This evidence is sometimes obtained by gathering fingerprints or DNA evidence from materials used to start the fire, known as accelerants.
- Next, the prosecution must show that the fire targeted property that belonged to another person or property that was insured. This shows that the person who caused the fire or explosion acted with criminal intent in an effort to cause harm or illegally obtain insurance money.
- In some cases, charges of arson can be handed down even if the alleged offender did not intentionally cause the blaze. For example, if someone neglected to watch a campfire that got out of control and damaged property, that person might be convicted of arson.
Punishments for Arson
If allegations of arson lead to a conviction in Houston, the punishments can vary based on the severity of the damage caused by the fire or explosion. Some punishments according to the Texas Penal Code can include:
- A term of 2 to 20 years confinement in a state prison. This punishment is used for many arson convictions which are classified as second-degree felonies.
- 6 months to 2 years in state jail for a conviction of arson in the course of manufacturing drugs. This charge usually applies to cases of methamphetamine manufacture and is a state jail felony.
- Life in prison. This sentence can be handed down if someone is convicted of starting a fire or explosion that hurts or kills someone or that targets a church.
The Law Office of Shahin Zamir in Houston, Texas fights to protect the rights of all people. Give Shahin Zamir a call at 713-223-8900 for legal consultation.