Arson in Arizona
Fire is a fascinating thing to many people. It’s something that is difficult to control or predict and the beauty of the flames can be mesmerizing. Appreciation for this natural wonder ends, however, when someone sets a fire on purpose to cause damage. Setting fires to cause havoc or to ruin something is a serious felony and comes with severe consequences. Todd Coolidge is an experienced criminal law specialist serving Phoenix, Chandler, Gilbert, and Scottsdale. He can assist you in creating a strategic plan to help decrease or drop the charges of an alleged crime.
What is Arson?
Simply put, arson is when someone purposely sets a fire in an attempt to damage something. It can include setting fire to:
- Any type of property such as dumpster, farm, lawn etc.
The intent behind setting fires is characterized by the intent to cause harm or damage.
Types of Arson
There are several different types of arson that are committed and three that are the main categories arson falls under. These include:
- Arson of Structure or Property: This is the type of burning that occurs with the intention of setting a fire or creating an explosion on a property that has value. The standard presumptive sentencing for this type of arson varies based upon the value of property and if it was occupied. Charges can be up to 3.75 years prison time if the structure was unoccupied. If the structure was occupied, no matter the property value, the punishment is up to 12.5 years of prison time.
- Reckless Burning: This occurs when the unlawful burning happens unintentionally, and is due to negligence. This is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor and can include up to six months in jail with up to $2,500 in fines.
- Wildlands Burning: It is illegal to start a fire on wild or public land unless it is for cooking or warmth, a permitted controlled burn, fire management by an approved body, or burning for agriculture. If a fire is started outside of these standards and done intentionally, it can be a Class 6 Felony. The charges can be upgraded to a Class 3 Felony if the fire started places a structure or person in danger, even if no damage occurred.
Arson is a serious crime, no matter where or how it is committed. It comes with severe punishments and will be convicted with the fullest weight of the courts.
If you are charged with arson, contact Coolidge Law today to discuss your strategic defense options.