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What is the Criminal Charge of Arson?

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What is the Criminal Charge of Arson?

When we think of arson, we think of fire and that’s right. The criminal charge of arson is usually described in jurisdiction as the intentional setting of a fire to a building or structure. Arson can be accomplished by burning a car, for example, or burning a garage, or office building, or a house. The crime of arson usually only occurs when the fire is started intentionally. That means if it is accidentally done and it’s determined an accident, it is not constitute a criminal charge. In most states, also the level or arson or the seriousness of that charge depends on a couple things. Number one, was the structure occupied? If there are people in the structure at the time of the intentional fire, usually it is a hire degree level of felony and much more seriousness, subjecting the criminal accused to incarceration, which means state prison. If it’s unoccupied, such as a dumpster or an old abandoned car, it still may constitute arson because it is an intentional fire but it is usually a lower level felony. In most states, however, all arsons are usually felonies, which make it a serious offense. If you’ve been arrested for arson, check with a local lawyer in your jurisdiction. He or she will tell you whether or not your crime, or your alleged act, meets the requirement of criminal arson.

               a.    If you intentionally set fire to a structure
               b.    What level of crime that constitutes.


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The criminal defense attorneys at Carlson, Meissner, Hart & Hayslett, P.A., fighting for our clients rights in criminal defense cases in ClearwaterTampaBradentonSpring Hill, Pinellas, Pasco, New Port Richey, Manatee, Hillsborough and Hernando Counties in Florida. 

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J. Kevin Hayslett

Kevin Hayslett, Esq.

J. Kevin Hayslettis an attorney practicing in the areas of Criminal Defense and DUI Defense from the Clearwater office and Hillsborough office. Kevin is an avid tennis player and is currently nationally rated in singles and doubles. You can follow Kevin onGoogle+, oron Radio IO on his show, "Kevin's Law". Kevin can also be heard on the Sirius Satellite Radio show during the "Ask the Lawyer" segment, which can be heard the first Thursday of every month.