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Are you being investigated, or accused, of committing arson? As most people know – Arson is when you explode, or burn, a dwelling or the surroundings of a space. Arson can apply to both commercial and residential buildings. If you do arson in connection with an insurance claim, this can be a form of insurance fraud. Arson which is done with the intent to defraud, or done with the intent to injure or harm someone, is a criminal act – which means you’ll need the help of a talented criminal defense law firm to help. Many states consider the burning of a building, as intent of insurance fraud – which makes arson an even more serious crime. As a result, if you’re under suspicion, are arrested, or are being investigated, we encourage you to take advantage of the risk free consultation our nyc criminal attorneys offer.
Arson is known as a criminal act, which implies starting a fire and causing damage to a building. The charge of arson is codified as §150 of the penal code. Building is defined as any structure, vehicle, or watercraft, used for overnight lodging, or used by person for carrying out a business purpose. The penalties for arson can be quite severe.
Arson have five degrees of punishment in New York. The lowest charge carries jail time as a penalty. As a result, if you’re faced wit arson, we encourage you to contact our law office. The court takes this crime seriously, because it has the potential to harm many nearby people, and causing immense injuries and death to people nearby. The basic concept the prosecution will have to prove that there was a fire that occurred, and that your reckless action caused it. Motive is crucial in helping them prove the charge of arson.
In New York the arson statutes are the following:
§150.01 Arson in the fifth
This statute applies when a defendant intentionally causes damage through a fire or explosion. This is a class a misdemeanor, with up to 1 year in jail.
§150.05 Arson in the fourth degree
The difference with charge, is the person didn’t intend on burning the building, but knew his activities could potentially harm the building. This applies if he could set fire to something near the building, like a trash can. This is a Class E Felony, which means a maximum sentence of 4 years in jail.
§150.10 Arson in the third degree
This is where you intended to burn the building. The defendant intended to cause damage to the building or vehicle, and started a fire. The fire caused damage as well. This is a Class C felony, with a penalty of no less than 3.5 years in jail, and no longer than 15 years in jail.
§150.15 Arson in the second degree
Arson in the second degree relies on the element that the damage was intentional. It is second degree, because the defendant knew, or should have known, that a person would be in the structure at the time. It’s a Class B felony, with a penalty no less than 5 years, and no more than 25 years, in jail. The major difference between this charge and other charges, is the fact there was a person or might be a person in the structure. As a result, this increases the penalties.
NYC Arson Insurance Fraud Lawyers
Arson insurance provides people with coverage for all sorts of damages that can be caused by a fire. If your possessions, property, vehicles, or home, is destroyed in a fire – you can get compensation to replace it, or repair it. There are many reasons why fires can happen, and anyone who owns property can request compensation in order to help repair the damages they’ve suffered. If someone starts a fire willfully, in order to defraud insurance carriers – that is something which is called arson – and is often prosecuted .
Spodek Law Group, PC, has experience dealing with arson cases and can advise you on how to best defend yourself, if accused. Incidentally starting a fire, and then claiming it was an accident in order to profit off it is illegal, and can result in state and federal criminal charges. If you make false claims about what possessions perished as a result of the fire, this is also illegal. If the insurance company can prove you lied, they can deny your claim, or even file a lawsuit in order to recover any money they paid you. If they press charges, you could end up in jail.
Arson insurance fraud is when you set fire intentionally, or hire someone else to do it, with the intention of damaging and destroying insured property. The idea is to get the insurance company to give you a payout for financial losses incurred as a result of the fire. Our arson insurance fraud defense lawyers have experience handling insurance cases involving vehicles, houses, property damages, and even items within the house which perished. One of the things you have to be aware of, when dealing with these cases is that it’s difficult for the prosecution to prove it’s case. They have to prove you purposefully set the fire, and made misleading statements to the insurance carrier. If the fire happened in accident, then its hard for them to prove fraud. If, however, you set something flammable next to a stove, and then lit the stove in order to start the fire – then you’d be guilty of arson insurance fraud.
Penalties for insurance fraud can be severe. You may end up in court, in addition to facing charges of arson. You could face charges of insurance fraud too. There are many degrees of arson charges, ranging from 1 to 5. That applies to both insurance fraud and arson. Fifth degree is the least severe degree of charges. First degree charges are considered felony crimes, and can result in substantial prison sentences.
If you participated in an arson insurance fraud scam, you may end up getting charged with many different criminal statutes. It’s best you reach out to Spodek Law Group, PC’s team of NYC arson insurance fraud lawyers for a risk free consultation.
What is the Criminal Charge of Arson?
Arson is the act of burning homes, buildings or other structures and it is against the law in every state in the U.S. Proving someone set a structure on fire with malicious intent is not always an easy task. The following is an overview of the crime of arson and the penalties it can carry depending on the laws in your specific state. If you have been charged with the crime of arson, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney for advice.
The Definition Of Arson
Arson is defined as the setting of another person’s property on fire. This can be a car, boat or dwelling. In most states, the crime of arson carries heavier penalties if the structure is occupied and there was a risk to human life or someone was injured in the blaze.
What Are The Degrees Of The Crime?
Lawmakers have broken down the crime of arson, depending on the severity of the crime. Some things investigators and prosecutors take into consideration when charging someone with arson are if anyone was hurt and if the structure was in the country or in a town where people reside. Because arson investigations are complex, it can take months before a suspect is charged with the crime of arson.
Why Does Someone Commit The Crime Of Arson?
While it is impossible to tell what is going through someone’s mind when they commit a crime, there are some reasons that motivate arsonists. Many arson’s go unsolved, making it difficult to know what causes someone to go to this extreme measure. However, experts have found that the following things motivate arsonists in some cases:
Studies have also shown that many people who are extremely intelligent commit the crime of arson because it is a challenge and provides them with an adrenaline rush they cannot find anywhere else. Some people who become arsonists suffer abuse as a child or during their teenage years, making humiliation and shame a primary cause of acting out in this way. There are also people who are sexually aroused by setting things on fire and getting away with it.
There are some things that experts have found to be warning signs when children are young that may indicate a future arsonist is in the making. Some of the primary warning signs are:
Children Who Begin Playing With Matches At A Young Age
Children Who Are Noticeably Excited To Watch A Fire Burn
Children And Teenagers Who Have A Daredevil Mentality
Children Who Mix Chemicals Together For Fun
What Are The Penalties For The Crime Of Arson?
Most states divide the penalty for arson by degrees as follows:
First degree arson is the most serious charge, occurring when someone sets a structure on fire that contains people inside or in close proximity.
Second Degree arson is the act of setting an unoccupied structure ablaze.
Setting abandoned or unoccupied structures on fire constitutes arson in the Third Degree.
In the United States the mandatory minimum sentence for someone found guilty of the crime of arson is a fine of $15,000.00 and 3 to 5 years in state prison. Because this is the minimum penalty for those convicted of Third Degree arson, those convicted of more serious charges in the second and first degree will face higher fines and longer incarceration times in most instances.
Being accused of arson is very serious and your freedom is at risk if convicted. If you are facing an arson charge, it is important to speak with a criminal defense attorney before it is too late. Having an experienced attorney to look out for your best interest may help get your charges reduced or even dropped. Hiring an attorney can also reduce the stress and anxiety that is always a part of being charged with a criminal case in the United States.
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