Arson is the act of deliberately setting fire to property, for any reason. Whether an act of revenge, anger, or even insurance fraud, intentionally causing a fire qualifies as arson. In the state of Minnesota, arson is a very serious charge. If you have been accused of committing arson, then you need an experienced arson defense lawyer on your side.
Degrees of Arson
Not all acts of arson are treated equally. The seriousness of an arson charge depends on the various factors involved in the case. The value of the property and the intent of the act are two of the biggest factors in determining the degree of arson.
In Minnesota, there are five degrees of arson. First-degree arson is the most serious charge, and fifth-degree arson is the least serious. The penalty for an arson conviction will depend on the seriousness of the charge, and can include extended jail time and large fines. The five degrees of arson are:
- First-Degree Arson: Intentionally using fire or explosives to cause damage to a structure. A first-degree arson charge can apply regardless of whether or not people are present at the time of the fire.
- Second-Degree Arson: Intentionally using fire or explosives to destroy unoccupied property valued at more than $1,000.
- Third-Degree Arson: Intentionally using fire or explosives to destroy personal or real property valued over $300, and under $1,000.
- Fourth-Degree Arson: Intentionally using fire or explosives to destroy any property that is not covered by the first three degrees of arson.
- Fifth-Degree Arson: Setting fire to property, regardless of value.
In addition to these five degrees, there are also two other criminal acts of arson: wildfire arson and negligent fire. Wildfire arson involves the act of intentionally setting fire to any combustible materials found in nature, including grass, underbrush, timber, and more. Negligent fire is caused by an act of negligence that results in a fire burning out of control, causing damage to property or injury to an individual.
Arson Defense Lawyer
Understanding the differences between the degrees of arson can be difficult. If you are facing criminal charges of arson, it is essential to have a qualified attorney on your case. An experienced arson defense lawyer can help get your charges reduced, and minimize your penalties.
If you have been falsely accused of arson, then you need an attorney to help you prove your case. Without a lawyer, you may end up facing very serious consequences for something you didn’t do.
Always A Free Consultation
No matter what degree of arson you are charged with, you need help. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we are here to help you through your case. Contact us today for a free arson defense consultation in Minnesota. We never cast judgment on you, and we always help you get the best result – regardless of guilt or innocence. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our free online consultation form.