What are Arson Offenses?
Arson is the intentional setting of fire to a building, vehicle or other property for the purpose of causing damage. Complete destruction of the property is not required to charge or convict for Arson. Extensive damage is similarly not required. It is sufficient under the law of Arson if the property has only minor damage. Further, one may be charged with Arson for setting fire to the property of another or his own property. Setting fire to one’s own property is common with insurance fraud where someone destroys his or her own property by fire, and then files an insurance claim for the loss. In such cases, an offender may be charged with both Arson and Fraud.
Arson is viewed by the Courts as among the most serious felony offenses. It ranks near the top of the list with Murder, Rape, Robbery and Kidnapping. As a result, courts and prosecutors most often seek to impose jail sentences for convicted arsonists. There are various aggravating factors they will look to assess the seriousness of a particular Arson case. These factors include the extent of damage from the fire; whether or not the property was occupied at the time of the fire; if occupied, number of occupants and extent of their sustained injuries; existence and injury to animals or pets on the premises; existence of injuries to first responders such as firefighters and rescue workers; value of the damage to the property, including the actual structure and its contents; and the motive for committing the offense. If you have been charged with Arson, it is important to seek legal representation immediately to protect your rights and to minimize the impact that a criminal charge of this nature may have on your life.
Learn more about specific arson offenses below:
- Burning of a Dwelling
- Burning of a Building
- Burning of Personal Property or Personality
- Malicious Destruction by Fire or Burning
If you have been charged with an arson offense and need representation, contact the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.