Why you need an arson defense attorney.
Arson is the crime of intentionally setting fire to a building or property. The purpose may be to harm people in the building, people around the building, or to destroy the building or property itself. Arson in Utah can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor crime and either will have serious repercussions if you are convicted.
What Constitutes Arson?
(1) A person is guilty of arson if, under circumstances not amounting to aggravated arson, the person by means of fire or explosives unlawfully and intentionally damages:
(a) any property with intention of defrauding an insurer; or
(b) the property of another.
(2) A violation of Subsection (1)(a) is a second degree felony.
(3) A violation of Subsection (1)(b) is:
(a) a second degree felony if:
(i) the damage caused is or exceeds $5,000 in value; or
(ii) as a proximate result of the fire or explosion, any person not a participant in the offense suffers serious bodily injury as defined in Section 76-1-601;
(b) a third degree felony if:
(i) the damage caused is or exceeds $1,500 but is less than $5,000 in value;
(ii) as a proximate result of the fire or explosion, any person not a participant in the offense suffers substantial bodily injury as defined in Section 76-1-601; or
(iii) the fire or explosion endangers human life;
(c) a class A misdemeanor if the damage caused is or exceeds $500 but is less than $1,500 in value; and
(d) a class B misdemeanor if the damage caused is less than $500.
Degrees of Arson.
The severity of charges and sentencing related to an alleged arson are determined by the varying degrees of arson. The severity of the charges can be determined by whether or not someone was hurt or killed as a result of the fire. Another factor which may heavily affect the charges or sentencing is the value of the property that was damaged as a result of the intentionally set fire.
If someone was killed as a result of the fire, the arsonist will likely be charged with murder. The proximity of a residence in relation to the fire can also be a factor. Whether or not the structure that was burned was a residence as well as the time of day the fire was set can also be major factors in the determination of the degree of arson.
If it is alleged that the fire was set to obtain insurance monies, the alleged arsonist will likely be charged with insurance fraud as well.
As with any other criminal charges, the prosecutor of the arson case must be able to prove each and every element of the case against the offender completely and beyond any reasonable doubt. The Salt Lake City Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Ault Firm are dedicated to proving the innocence of our clients. We will work hard to bring any weaknesses in the prosecution’s claims to light and in turn prove your innocence. We have extensive contacts with the local arson investigators and can have an expert review your case.
If you have been charged with arson or any other serious crime, please call the Ault Firm, where our Utah criminal defense attorneys can immediately get to work on your case. You need someone who will fight aggressively to prove your innocence and to maintain your freedoms that are guaranteed by the Constitution.