The crime of arson is defined as the willful, malicious or reckless burning of any structure, land or property. In some cases, other charges may be filed if a person is injured or killed as a result of arson, or if a person has been convicted of arson on a prior offense or if the damages exceed a certain dollar threshold.
Regardless of the circumstances, arson can carry some serious penalties if a defendant is convicted, so it is vital if you have been charged with any type of arson crime that you contact Decker & Jones to begin mounting an effective legal defense.
1st Degree Arson
A person can be charged with 1st-degree arson if they set fire, burn, destroy or partially destroy through the use of explosive devices another person’s building or occupied structure.
First-degree arson is a class 3 felony.
2nd Degree Arson
A person can be charged with 2nd-degree arson if they set fire, burn, destroy or partially destroy through the use of explosive devices another person’s property that is not a building or an occupied structure.
If the damage is $100 or more, 2nd-degree arson is a class 4 felony. If the damage is less than $100, it is a class 2 misdemeanor.
3rd Degree Arson
A person can be charged with 3rd-degree arson if they use fire or explosives and intentionally damage any property with intent to defraud.
Third-degree arson is a class 4 felony.
4th Degree Arson
A person can be charged with 4th-degree arson if they knowingly or recklessly start or maintain a fire or cause an explosion, that places another person in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places a building or occupied structure in danger.
Fourth-degree arson can be a class 4 felony, or a class 2 or class 3 misdemeanor.