Chandler Arson Attorney

Representation for Those Charged with Arson in Chandler, Arizona
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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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    Experienced Chandler Law Firm Handling Arson Accusation & Charges

    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

    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

    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

    Court Defense Lawyer For Aggravated Arson Charges

    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.

    Committing Arson For Pyromania
    Pyromania

    One of the most common motives behind arson is pyromania. It is a psychiatric diagnosis describing an obsessive desire to set fire to things.

    Committing Arson For Revenge
    Revenge

    Often, people commit arson out of revenge. They may be seeking to avenge either themselves or a loved one who was wronged.

    Committing Arson As Vandalism
    Vandalism

    Vandalism is described as an action involving deliberate destruction or damage of another’s property. Being charged with arson involves vandalism charges as well.

    Committing Arson For Insurance Fraud
    Insurance Fraud

    When property owners willfully destroy their own belongings by fire for the purpose of collecting the insurance money, it is known as insurance fraud.

    Committing Arson For Welfare Fraud
    Welfare 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 Firesetter Arson
    Psycho Firesetter

    Psycho firesetting is a similar diagnosis to pyromania and describes setting fires to things for a number of psychological reasons.

    Committing Arson For As Crime Concealment
    Crime Concealment

    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
    • Class 4 Felony

    • Minimum prison term of 18 months

    Arson of Property (worth more than $1,000)
    • Class 4 Felony

    • Minimum prison term of 18 months

    Arson of Property (worth $100-$1,000)
    • Class 5 Felony
    • Minimum prison term of 9 months
    Arson of Property (worth less than $100)
    • Class 1 Misdemeanor

    • Up to 6 months in prison