Arson, as outlined in Florida Statute 806.01, is the willing and unlawful damage to a structure by fire or explosion. If you have been arrested for Arson, it is crucial that you understand what the charges against you mean.What is arson?
Arson is when any person willingly and unlawfully causes damage to a structure or dwelling by fire or explosion. Florida statute defines structure as a building of any kind, any enclosed area with a roof over it, any tent or portable building, and any vehicle, vessel, watercraft, or aircraft. A dwelling is a structure that can be reasonable believed to be occupied by a human. You can be charged with Arson if you are accused of willingly setting fire or causing an explosion to any of these types of property.
There are different levels of arson, depending on the severity of the crime. You can be charged with arson in the first degree, otherwise known as a first degree felony. In order to be charged with arson in the first degree, the state has to prove the following:
- That you willingly knowingly set fire or caused an explosion to the following structures:
- Any dwelling, occupied or not (meaning a home with, regardless of whether anyone is present or at home at the time the arson is alleged to have been committed); OR
- Any structure where people are normally present (like a store open to the public); OR
- Any other structure that you had reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being.
If you are charged with arson in the first degree and found guilty, then you will be convicted of a first degree felony. If this happens, it is important to know what consequences you will be facing. First degree felonies are punishable by up to thirty (30) years in prison, and up to $100,000 in fines.
This is why is so important to have someone knowledgeable fighting for you. Committing Arson is a very serious offense that can change your life, or the life of someone you love, forever. Attorney Matthew Thompson has years of experience that he can bring to your case. As a former prosecutor, he can bring knowledge from all sides of the law in order to craft a defense unique to your situation. Attorney Thompson is dedicated to his clients and giving them is time and attention to help them put their lives back together after an arrest. Call (386) 463-4529 today to schedule your free consultation.