Honorable Terry Keel, Chair, House Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence
John S. O'Brien, Deputy Director, Legislative Budget Board
HB1634 by Allen, Ray (Relating to arson and arson investigation; creating an offense.), As Introduced
The bill would amend the Penal Code by making the reckless causing of a fire or an explosion while manufacturing a controlled substance punishable as a state jail felony, except the offense would be punishable as a felony of the first degree if the offense results in bodily injury or death. The offense of arson is currently punishable as a felony of the second degree, or a felony of the first degree, depending on whether bodily injury was suffered, or the property intended to be destroyed was a habitation or a place of assembly or worship.
A state jail felony is punishable by confinement in a state jail for any term of not more than two years or less than 180 days, or, in addition to confinement, a fine not to exceed $10,000.
A second degree felony is punishable by imprisonment in the institutional division for any term of not more than 20 years or less than 2 years, or, in addition to confinement, a fine not to exceed $10,000.
A first degree felony is punishable by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than 5 years, or in addition to imprisonment, a fine not to exceed $10,000.
The impact of the bill would depend on the number of persons caught and convicted of the offense; however, in the case of this bill, the increased workload and demand for resources would probably not be substantial.