Daniel & Hudson recently had the honor of representing a young man who had been charged with arson and murder. Our client was facing capital punishment (the death penalty) for the murder charges. However, with our steadfast efforts we were successful in getting his capital murder charges dismissed, and we were able to significantly reduce his jail time on the arson charges! This was another example of how having the right criminal defense attorney can steer the defendant's case in a highly favorable direction.
Capital punishment has been used by the Texas court system since 1819. Since the death penalty was reintroduced in the United States in the 1976 Gregg v. Georgia decision, Texas has executed more inmates than any other state in the nation via lethal injection all beginning in 1982 with the execution of Charles Brooks Jr.
Over the years Texas has used a variety of execution methods including hanging (up until 1924), shooting by a fire squad (only used four times during the Civil War period), electrocution (from 1924 to 1964), and lethal injection (1982 to present day). Today, the male death row inmates are held at the Allan B. Polunsky Unit while female death row inmates are held at the Mountain View Unit; however, all Texas executions are held at the Huntsville Unit. Since 1951, the state hasn't executed more than one person on any single day, although there is no law against it. In Texas, the death penalty is assessed against those who have been convicted of capital murder.
Under Texas Penal Code – Section 28.02 Arson – a person commits the offense when they start a fire, regardless if the fire continues after it's been ignited, or when the person causes an explosion with the intent to destroy or damage vegetation, a fence or structure, a building or home, or land or vehicle. The person is also guilty of arson when they set fire to any property that has a mortgage or other security to it, or when they recklessly start a fire or explosion while in the process of manufacturing or attempting to manufacture a controlled substance and the fire or explosion damages any building, home, or vehicle, or if they recklessly cause another person to sustain serious injuries or death.
Under §28.02, someone convicted under Subsection (a) is guilty of a felony of the second degree, except if they caused bodily injury or death, then they are guilty of a felony in the first degree. It's also a first degree felony if the property was a home or a church. If someone causes bodily injury or death as a result of a fire or explosion while manufacturing a controlled substance, then they will be found guilty of a state jail felony.
It's very apparent that the offenses of capital murder and arson are some of the most serious criminal charges that anyone could face in the state of Texas. At Daniel & Hudson, we are 100% committed to defending our clients' rights and strongly searching for any way that we can get our clients' charges reduced or dismissed. If you are facing criminal charges in San Antonio, then we urge you to put our more than 40 years of collective experience and our experience as former prosecutors to work on your case. Contact us today to learn more about your legal defense options, you cannot afford to put your future in the hands of an incompetent attorney, not in Texas.