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At XYZ Law Firm, our New York criminal defense attorneys have extensive experience representing individuals accused of serious offenses, including arson. Depending on the degree of the charge, those suspected of arson in New York could face a maximum sentence of life in prison. For this reason, it’s vital that anyone facing an arson charge obtain experienced legal counsel as soon as possible.
For over X years, the arson attorneys at XYZ Law Firm have provided our clients with the highest level of legal representation. You can count on our attorneys to offer you sound and frank legal advice, and to put on a strong defense on your behalf that ensures your rights are protected. But it’s of the utmost importance that you contact our legal team today, so that they can begin gathering evidence and creating a strategy designed to give you the greatest chance of a successful outcome.
What is Arson in NY?
Arson occurs when an individual intentionally sets fire to a building or structure. The law also treats intentionally-detonated explosions as arson. In New York State, the penal code establishes several degrees of arson, which are determined by a number of factors including:
- The intent of the defendant
- The materials used to set the fire
- Whether human life was in danger
- Whether anyone was actually injured
- The type of structure involved (unoccupied residential structure vs. occupied residential structure)
The severity of the penalty faced by an arson defendant depends upon the degree of the charge, with arson in the fifth degree being the least severe, while arson in the first degree carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Degrees of Arson
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According to New York’s penal code, the different degrees of arson are:
- Arson in the Fifth Degree: This is considered a class A misdemeanor, and carries a penalty of up to one year in jail. You can be convicted of fifth degree arson if the prosecution proves that you intentionally damaged another’s property by causing a fire or explosion without their consent.
- Arson in the Fourth Degree: This is a class E felony punishable by up to four years in jail. A person is guilty of arson in the fourth degree when they recklessly cause damage to a building or motor vehicle of another by intentionally starting a fire or causing an explosion.
- Arson in the Third Degree: A person is guilty of arson in the third degree when they intentionally damage a building or motor vehicle by starting a fire or causing an explosion. This class C felony is punishable by minimum jail sentence of 3.5 years and a maximum of 15.
- Arson in the Second Degree: This charge is levied when an individual intentionally damages a building or motor vehicle by starting a fire, and is aware that a non-participating person was occupying the structure at the time. Second degree arson is considered a class B felony, and is punishable via a sentence of between 5 and 25 years.
- Arson in the First Degree: This is a class A felony that requires an intent to use fire to burn a building or vehicle, as well as one of the following aggravating circumstances: the fire involved the use of an incendiary device; the fire or explosion was caused by an explosive; the fire seriously hurt an innocent person or was done for financial gain. First degree arson has a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
Contact a New York Arson Defense Lawyer Today
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If you or someone close to you has been charged with arson in New York, you can’t afford to wait another day before you contact a qualified arson defense lawyer. At XYZ Law Firm, our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys, investigators and other legal staff will do everything in our power to prepare a strong case on your behalf. To learn more, please give our office a call today at 555-555-5555.