Elements of Arson

Written by
December 23, 2016
Arson is a felony that carries serious penalties. Depending on the situation surrounding the fire, the penalties for this crime can be expanded and those accused may face long-term or life sentences. Understanding the four key elements to arson is paramount to a good defense.

Four Elements Of Arson

For this crime to have taken place, there are three elements that must be met. Each of these elements must occur for the charge to stand. There are very few exceptions to these elements, and in most cases, any exceptions which occur are ones that make the charge more serious.
• Malicious Burning. The first element requires that the intent behind the burning was malicious. The fire must have been started to cause harm to the structure. In the past, only fire was included in this element. Now, fires caused by explosions are also considered malicious burnings and qualify under this element.
• Fire Must Be Present. If the actions that occurred only brought about smoke, this element would not be met. There must be actual burning and charring associated with the event, even if it is only a little bit.
• Ownership of Property. In the past, the only way to meet the guidelines of this property would be if the fire occurred at the dwelling of another person. However, this has been broadly expanded over recent years and now includes the burning of one’s own property for fraudulent reasons and the burning of commercial properties.

This offense may now also include charges of fraud for those who burn as a way to collect insurance money and heinous crime charges for those who burn a structure to cover the evidence of another crime.

Serious Charges Require A Serious Defense Team

If you are facing charges for burning a structure of any type and for any reason, you should seek legal advice from a Waukesha criminal defense lawyer. Having legal representation is imperative to protecting your rights as someone accused of such a serious crime.

Having a Waukesha criminal defense lawyer represent your case will provide you with the best possible outcome to these charges.

No Responses

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *