Arizona Arson Laws: Is Arson a Felony?

arizona arson laws

Arizona Arson Laws: Is Arson a Felony?


There are some situations where you might find yourself curious about Arizona arson laws. Maybe you’re planning a giant bonfire. Or maybe you accidentally flicked a lit cigarette and caught property on fire. Perhaps a fireworks display got out of hand and your neighbor’s shed caught on fire. Could you be charged with arson? 

Arizona Arson Laws and Felonies


Is arson a felony in Arizona? Yes, arson is generally classified as a felony in Arizona. Many cases of arson in Arizona are considered a class 4 felony. Some instances are a class 5 felony, and some only hold the weight of a misdemeanor charge. However, there are situations where the sentencing can be more severe. 

Arizona arson laws also dictate that many convictions come with prison time. Depending on the charge, you could spend anywhere from four months to five years in prison for committing arson. Receiving a felony conviction is a serious matter that comes with severe consequences

Class 2 Felony

  • Arson of an occupied structure

Class 3 Felony

  • Intentional burning of wildlands that puts a structure or person in danger

Class 4 Felony

  • Arson of a structure
  • Arson of property worth more than $1,000
  • Arson of an occupied jail or prison facility 

Class 5 Felony

  • Arson of property with a value range of $100 – $1,000

Class 6 Felony

  • Burning of wildlands done intentionally 

Do Arizona arson laws allow for any lawful burning?


Yes. There are situations where you can legally have an open burn. A permit is required, however. 

If you have a bonfire this also requires a permit, site plan, a fee, and an advance notice of 10 days.

An open burn, of a farmer’s field for example, requires a permit application, a plan, approval from the county, a fee, and an advanced notice. 

Burning of Wildlands


Let’s say you are having a recreational fire—which does not require a permit in Arizona—and the fire gets out of control and burns wildlands. Is this considered a felony according to Arizona arson laws? No. You will not receive a felony charge for being negligent or reckless. You may face misdemeanor charges, prison time, probation, and fines. 

Arizona arson laws state that being found guilty of burning wildlands with criminal negligence comes with a sentence of a class 2 misdemeanor, 4 months in prison, 2 years of probation, and a fine of $750. 

If burning of wildlands has been done recklessly, the misdemeanor charge jumps up to class 1, the prison time is 4 months, probation is 3 years, and the fine is $2,500. 


Felony Defense Lawyer in Chandler, Arizona


Facing a felony charge is a crucial and difficult time. It’s a time in life that requires a skilled lawyer. You’ll want the help of a professional who has a track record of success.

If you live in the Chandler area, you have access to one of the best: Todd Coolidge.

Give us a call today if you need expert legal counsel.





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