There are several factors that determine the severity of an arson crime, ranging from the type of property burned to the extent of bodily harm. Depending on these factors, a person convicted of an arson crime may receive a hefty fine or even a lengthy prison sentence.
One of the most common defenses a criminal defense lawyer can use is the “accident”. This does not require an intent to cause a fire, but it does prove that the fire was caused by an accident. In some cases, the prosecution will have to prove that the alleged fire was caused by a “reckless” act, which is not as easy as it sounds.
Arson in the First Degree is a felony, which carries a mandatory minimum prison term of twenty years. The maximum penalty is life in prison. However, the first degree is the least likely to result in a jail sentence. A felony conviction can also lead to a death penalty.
Arson in the Second Degree is a felony, which imposes a mandatory minimum prison term of five years. It is a more complicated offense than the first, in that it requires knowledge of someone who is present during the fire’s initiation and a specific intention to cause the damage. Additionally, the charge has a higher monetary value, which helps to increase the hefty penalties associated with it.
Arson in the Third Degree is a felony, which consists of willfully damaging a building or car. This includes the setting of a bonfire or the burning of a building or vehicle.
There are a few different types of arson, but the most common is the burning of a dwelling. Other types include the burning of personal property or vehicles, such as cars or motorcycles. Some states have laws requiring a person to pay restitution to the owner of the damaged property. Restitution payments may include repayment of fire department costs, or they may be used as a means of repairing damages.
Arson in the Fourth Degree is a felony, which entails intentional damage by explosion, fire, or a similar means. Although the third and fourth degrees are the most common, there is also the fifth, which involves the setting of a fire to property without the owner’s consent. Depending on the magnitude of the damage and the extent of injuries to others, a person convicted of the first, second, or third degrees could face a hefty penalty.
The best way to understand how an arson crime might be punished is to contact a local criminal defense lawyer. He or she can help you learn more about your rights and advise you on plea negotiations. Contact Arthur Pressman Law, LLC in New York today to find out more about the consequences of an arson charge. Having the right attorney at your side can make all the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony.
A well-crafted criminal defense is the best way to avoid a prison sentence or even a hefty fine. If you have been charged with arson or any other crime, you should speak to a trusted attorney right away.