For each scenario, determine whether the person could be charged with arson, destruction of property/criminal mischief, trespassing, or burglary as defined by Texas law and describe how the conduct satisfies each element of the crime.
Determine whether the person could be charged with arson
This assignment requires you to address four Your Decision scenarios:
Your Decision 10.1 (p. 169)
Your Decision 10.2 (p. 171)
Your Decision 10.3 (p. 173)
Your Decision 10.4 (p. 175)
For each scenario, determine whether the person could be charged with arson, destruction of property/criminal mischief, trespassing, or burglary as defined by Texas law and describe how the conduct satisfies each element of the crime. If you think that the scenario does not satisfy the elements of the applicable statute, also, explain why not. I have supplied the relevant Texas statutes below. Also, be sure to draw a connection between the facts of each example and the applicable law. Additionally, explain how the the conduct in each case supports the charge you picked. Could the conduct in a case support more than one charge?
Texas Penal Code provisions:
Sec. 28.02. ARSON. (a) A person commits an offense if the person starts a fire, regardless of whether the fire continues after ignition, or causes an explosion with intent to destroy or damage:
(1) any vegetation, fence, or structure on open-space land; or
(2) any building, habitation, or vehicle:
(A) knowing that it is within the limits of an incorporated city or town;
(B) knowing that it is insure against damage or destruction;
(C) knowing that it is subject to a mortgage or other security interest;
(D) knowing that it is located on property belonging to another;
(E) knowing that it has located within it property belonging to another; or
(F) when the person is reckless about whether the burning or explosion will endanger the life of some individual or the safety of the property of another.
Sec. 28.03. CRIMINAL MISCHIEF. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner:
Firstly, he intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys the tangible property of the owner;
Secondly, he intentionally or knowingly tampers with the tangible property of the owner and causes pecuniary loss or substantial inconvenience to the owner or a third person; or
Thirdly, he intentionally or knowingly makes markings, including inscriptions, slogans, drawings, or paintings, on the tangible property of the owner.
Sec. 30.02. BURGLARY. (a) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner, the person:
(1) enters a habitation, or a building (or any portion of a building) not then open to the public, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault; or
(2) Secondly, remains concealed, with intent to commit a felony, theft, or an assault, in a building or habitation; or
(3) Lastly, enters a building or habitation and commits or attempts to commit a felony, theft, or an assault.
Sec. 30.05. CRIMINAL TRESPASS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person:
(1) had notice that the entry was forbid den; or
(2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.
(b) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Entry” means the intrusion of the entire body.
(2) “Notice” means:
(A) oral or written communication by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;
(B) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;
(C) a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, also, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden;
(D) the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property, provided that the marks are [details omitted]; or
(E) the visible presence on the property of a crop grown for human consumption that is under cultivation, in the process of being harvested, or marketable if harvested at the time of entry.