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Facing Arson Charges In Chandler
Being convicted of arson is a serious crime that carries severe penalties that can impact your whole life. You could be charged with anything from a minor misdemeanor to a Felony 2, having lifelong consequences on your life, family, career path, and rights. If you are facing charges of arson, it is critical to contact a Chandler arson attorney immediately before speaking to law enforcement.
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In Arizona, arson is defined as “knowingly and unlawfully damaging a structure or property by knowingly causing a fire or explosion”. It is important to note that this means fireworks are included in arson charges. An arson crime can be divided into a few different categories, based on the motives, intent, and damages caused by the fire.
Anytime you are facing criminal charges, it is critical to contact a Chandler criminal defense lawyer before speaking with law enforcement. Cooperating and offering information in an attempt to clear your name can actually make your situation more complicated and forego your right to legal representation.
Arson Criminal Damage Charges
Degrees of Arson, Charges, And Penalties In Chandler
Under Arizona Revised Statutes ARS 13-1703 and ARS 13-704, arson occurs when a person “knowingly and unlawfully damages a structure or property by knowingly causing a fire or explosion.” It is important to note that since explosions are included, fireworks can become a source of arson. In Arizona the crime of arson is broken up into different categories, based on the intent and damage caused, and the penalties for the offense may range from a Felony 6 to a very serious Felony 2.
Arson Of Structure
Arson of a Structure as defined under ARS 13-1703 requires “knowing and unlawful damage” to a structure through a fire or explosion. Arson of a structure that is unoccupied and the damage to the structure exceeds $1,000.00, is classified as a Felony 4. If the damage is under $1,000 it will be deemed a Felony 5. If the damage to the unoccupied structure is less than $100.00 then it can be classified as a misdemeanor 1.
Wildlands burning refers to the burning of forests, the penalties that could be imposed depends on the severity of the damage:
- If the fire was caused by the negligence of the offender, like leaving a campfire unattended that damages the nearby forest then the offense is a class 2 misdemeanor
- If the fire was caused by reckless behavior on the part of the offender, such as building a huge fire with no safety precautions, it is a class 1 misdemeanor
- If the fire was intentionally set, the offense is a class 6 felony
- If the fire places a person or structure in danger, it is a class 3 felony
Reckless burning is classified as: “Any fire or explosions unintentionally caused by an individual that causes damage.” In Arizona the most common charges occur though improper handling of a camp fire. This offense is a class 1 misdemeanor. In Arizona it is illegal to burn a cross or any other type of symbol on another person’s property without their consent, on a highway or in a public place. This type or arson is a class 1 misdemeanor though it may have additional accompanying charges.
Other Intentional Damage
Any other intentional damage caused by fire is classified by the damage inflicted:
- If an unoccupied structure is harmed it is a class 4 felony
- If an occupied structure is damaged the offense is a class 2 felony
- If a prison or jail is harmed it is a class 3 felony
Common Reasons For Arson
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There are a variety of reasons and motives that drive people to commit arson. While they are multifaceted and complex, some of the most common motives we see are pyromania, revenge, vandalism, welfare fraud, insurance fraud, crime concealment, and more. If you have been accused of arson, you need an experienced attorney to protect your freedom and ensure your name is cleared.
One of the most common motives behind arson is pyromania. It is a psychiatric diagnosis describing an obsessive desire to set fire to things.
Often, people commit arson out of revenge. They may be seeking to avenge either themselves or a loved one who was wronged.
Vandalism is described as an action involving deliberate destruction or damage of another’s property. Being charged with arson involves vandalism charges as well.
When property owners willfully destroy their own belongings by fire for the purpose of collecting the insurance money, it is known as insurance fraud.
These types of fires are typically set in a residence after all the valuable property has been removed, for the purpose of collecting money.
Psycho firesetting is a similar diagnosis to pyromania and describes setting fires to things for a number of psychological reasons.
Sometimes arson is committed by people who are attempting to conceal a different crime such as murder, burglary, or something else.
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Types Of Arson Charges In The State Of Arizona
Having a reputable attorney on your side so you don’t have to face criminal charges alone makes all the difference in the outcome of your case. Never speak to law enforcement without vocalizing your right to remain silent and your desire for an attorney to be present. Our 100% confidential initial consultation is the first step in aggressive representation and defense of your rights.
Arson of Structure
Arson of Property (worth more than $1,000)
Arson of Property (worth $100-$1,000)
Arson of Property (worth less than $100)
Property Damage Through Arson Charges
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Arson is a very serious offense that can carry penalties ranging anywhere from a Misdemeanor to a Felony 2. If you are facing charges it is important that you do not speak to police or arson investigators without an attorney present.
Top Rated Arson Defense Legal Representation In Chandler
Fantastic group, focused, organized and caring. They have lots of experience in the area and have done a great job to date.
I would recommend this firm to ANYONE serious about hiring an attorney. I urgently needed legal advice and found this firm thru a family member who referred me to Michelle. I’m so grateful to have found such a professional with such a wealth of knowledge for my court case. My Attorney Michelle Villanueva Skura helped me with my case and was able to drop charges.
I had recently gotten myself into some trouble and thanks to the help from Michelle I was able to get my charges dropped. The staff was very professional and kept me informed in every detail regarding my case. Definitely would recommend to any friends and family.
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Common Defenses Against
Charges of Arson
Because arson is so multifaceted, it can be difficult for courts to prove that you are guilty. They must show that you acted purposely with malicious intent such as revenge or vandalism. Our legal defense team at Villanueva Skura Attorneys at Law have extensive experience defending clients throughout Arizona who have been charged with arson. We will work tirelessly to protect your rights./p>
You can claim reckless behavior drove you to arson.
Lack Of Intent
Let us prove lack of intent to the judge.
Lack Of Evidence
If there is no evidence, there is no conviction.
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At Villanueva Skura Attorneys at Law, our legal defense team is committed to clearing your name of all charges with aggressive representation and protection of your freedoms. Give us a call to schedule your 100% confidential initial consultation to begin discussing your case. Not only do we offer competitive rates, but we have a variety of flexible payment plans available to our clients.
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When you have been charged with property damage through arson, contact the team at our Chandler criminal defense law firm right away.
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Take advantage of our years of experience and skill at Villanueva Skura Attorneys at Law when you have been charged with arson.
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