Service & Results.

nyc criminal lawyers over 30 years of experienceWe Know How To Win Cases

Spodek Law Group handles tough cases
nationwide, that demand excellence.

Get Free Consultation

Faced 5+ Years in Prison

People Vs Joseph Amico

Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.

Faced 10+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Anna Sorokin

Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.

Faced 3+ Years in Prison

People Vs. Genevieve Sabourin

Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.

Faced Potential Charges

Ghislaine Maxwell Juror

Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.

Why Choose Us

Clients can use our portal to track the status of their case, stay in touch with us, upload documents, and more.

Regardless of the type of situation you're facing, our attorneys are here to help you get quality representation.

We can setup consultations in person, over Zoom, or over the phone to help you. Bottom line, we're here to help you win your case.

Law in the Media

View All

Meet Todd Spodek


The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

Todd Spodek is a second generation attorney with immense experience. He has many years of experience handling 100’s of tough and hard to win trials. He’s been featured on major news outlets, such as New York Post, Newsweek, Fox 5 New York, South China Morning Post, Insider.com, and many others.

In 2022, Netflix released a series about one of Todd’s clients: Anna Delvey/Anna Sorokin.

Why Clients Choose Spodek Law Group

The reason is simple: clients want white glove service, and lawyers who can win. Every single client who works with the Spodek Law Group is aware that the attorney they hire could drastically change the outcome of their case. Hiring the Spodek Law Group means you’re taking your future seriously. Our lawyers handle cases nationwide, ranging from NYC to LA. Our philosophy is fair and simple: our nyc criminal lawyers only take on clients who we know will benefit from our services.

We’re selective about the clients we work with, and only take on cases we know align with our experience – and where we can make a difference. This is different from other law firms who are not invested in your success nor care about your outcome.

If you have a legal issue, call us for a consultation.
We are available 24/7, to help you with any – and all, challenges you face.

What are the penalties for federal arson charges in New York City?

By Spodek Law Group | October 16, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 17, 2023)

Last Updated on: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm

Federal Arson Charges in New York City: Penalties and Defenses

Arson is a very serious crime that involves intentionally and maliciously setting fire to or burning property. Unlike arson laws in many states, federal arson laws apply to a wide range of properties and structures, not just dwellings or buildings. If you are facing federal arson charges in New York City, it is critical that you understand the potential penalties you may be facing as well as possible defenses that could help reduce or even dismiss the charges.

Federal Laws Regarding Arson

There are several federal statutes that relate to arson crimes:

  • 18 U.S.C. § 81 – Arson within special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States
  • 18 U.S.C. § 844(f) – Maliciously damaging or destroying any building, vehicle, or other property owned or possessed by an institution that receives federal financial assistance
  • 18 U.S.C. § 844(i) – Arson involving any property used in interstate or foreign commerce

The penalties for federal arson depend on the specific circumstances of the crime. Section 844(f) carries up to 20 years in prison while section 844(i) carries a minimum of 5 years up to 20 years in prison. If death results from the arson, the minimum sentence increases to 7 years up to life in prison.

Federal arson laws are extremely broad and apply to virtually all structures and property, such as apartment buildings, restaurants, office buildings, and vehicles. Even a small home-based business could trigger federal jurisdiction under the interstate commerce clause.

Penalties for Federal Arson in New York City

If you are convicted of a federal arson charge in New York City, the penalties can be severe depending on the circumstances of the crime:

  • For a basic federal arson charge with no injuries or death, you may face 5-20 years in federal prison
  • If serious bodily injury results, the penalty jumps to 7-40 years in prison
  • If death results from the arson, you may face up to life imprisonment or even the death penalty

In addition to imprisonment, you will also face substantial fines up to $250,000 for an individual or $500,000 for an organization. The judge will also order you to pay restitution to compensate victims for any losses or damages.

Your sentence will depend on factors like your criminal history, the extent of damages and injuries, and whether you accept responsibility. But federal sentencing guidelines provide very harsh recommended sentences even for first-time offenders.

Defenses to Federal Arson Charges

While the penalties for federal arson are clearly severe, experienced criminal defense attorneys can often mount an aggressive defense to get charges reduced or even dismissed. Some possible defenses include:

  • You did not act intentionally or maliciously – For a federal arson conviction, prosecutors must prove you acted intentionally and with malice. If the fire was accidental or set negligently without intent to cause damage, it may not qualify as arson.
  • The building did not impact interstate commerce – For charges under 18 U.S.C. 844(i), the government must prove the building or property was used in or affected interstate commerce. Your attorney may argue the connection to interstate commerce was too remote.
  • You had no involvement in the arson – If you were wrongly accused or there is insufficient evidence connecting you to the crime, your attorney can argue for dismissal.
  • You were entrapped – If government agents improperly induced or coerced you into committing arson, this may provide grounds for dismissal.
  • Your rights were violated – If the police violated your rights by using unlawful searches or coercive interrogations, your lawyer can seek to suppress damaging evidence.

Sentencing Considerations in Federal Arson Cases

If you are convicted of federal arson charges, there are several factors that may help reduce your sentence under the federal sentencing guidelines:

  • Accepting responsibility for your actions
  • Providing substantial assistance to prosecutors
  • Having a minor role in the arson offense
  • Having limited criminal history points
  • Providing restitution to victims

The experienced federal arson lawyers at My Firm have helped numerous clients facing arson charges get sentences well below the federal guidelines. We will thoroughly analyze every aspect of your case to build the strongest possible defense.

Our Firm Defends Clients Against All Arson Charges

Dealing with a federal arson investigation can be an extremely frightening and stressful experience. But you do not have to go through it alone. The defense attorneys at My Firm have represented clients facing arson charges in New York City and throughout the country.

We will carefully examine the evidence and work tirelessly to protect your rights at every stage. With extensive experience in federal courts, we understand how to effectively negotiate with prosecutors and challenge the government’s case.

Don’t leave your future in the hands of the federal government. Contact our New York City office at [phone] for a free case evaluation and to discuss how we can fight the charges against you. Our firm provides strong legal representation to clients facing all types of arson charges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Federal Arson Charges

Being investigated or charged with a federal crime can be an overwhelming experience. Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about federal arson charges:

What types of properties can trigger federal arson charges?

Federal arson laws are extremely broad under the interstate commerce clause. Almost any property that affects interstate commerce could lead to federal charges, such as rental properties, restaurants, office buildings, hotels, and vehicles used for interstate transport. Even a small home-based business may qualify.

What is the difference between state and federal arson laws?

Unlike state laws which focus on dwellings and buildings, federal arson laws encompass damage to virtually any type of property, including vehicles and structures with even tenuous connections to interstate commerce. Penalties also tend to be harsher in federal cases.

Will I be charged in both state and federal court?

It is possible to be charged with both state and federal arson crimes based on the same incident since they are separate sovereigns. However, this is not very common since most cases proceed in just one jurisdiction.

What sentence can I expect if convicted?

It depends on the specifics, but you are facing 5-20 years for a basic arson conviction. If serious injuries or death occur, sentences quickly jump up to 25 years to life in prison. Judges follow federal sentencing guidelines which typically recommend stiff punishments.

Will I be released on bail?

Many federal arson suspects are detained without bail under the Bail Reform Act based on the serious nature of the charges. But an experienced attorney may be able to argue for bail or bond to allow your release during the case.

What kinds of plea bargains are available in arson cases?

Prosecutors will often agree to drop the arson charges in exchange for a guilty plea on lesser charges like destruction of property or providing information about others involved. Quick acceptance of responsibility also helps reduce sentences.

If you are facing investigation or charges for federal arson crimes, please call our office today to schedule a free case assessment. Our firm has successfully defended clients against complex arson charges in New York and nationwide.

Free Consultation


I was searching for a law firm with some power to help me deal with a warrant in New York . After 6 days I decided to go with Spodek Law Group. It helped that This law firm is well respected by not only the top law firms in New York , but the DA , Judge as well. I...

~Fonder Brandon

5 Stars
It was my good fortune to retain Spodek Law Group for representation for my legal needs. From the beginning, communication was prompt and thorough. Todd, Kenneth and Alex were the first people I worked with and they all made me, and my company Qumana skincare feel comfortable and confident that the team was going to work hard for me. Everything...

~A G

5 Stars
After meeting with several law firms, I chose the Spodek Law Group not only for their professionalism and experience, but for the personal attention given to me right from the initial consultation. It is important to recognize how crucial having the right legal team is when faced with potentially life altering events that impact families and the lives of loved...

~George Cherubini

Spodek Law Group

White Glove Service

We Provide Superior Service, Excellent Results, At A Level Superior To Other Criminal Defense Law Firms. Regardless Of Where Your Case Is, Nationwide, We Can Help You.
View More

Request Free Consultation

Please fill out the form below to receive a free consultation, we will respond to
your inquiry within 24-hours guaranteed.


85 Broad St 30th Floor, New York, NY 10004


get directions

Los Angeles

611 S Catalina St Suite 222, Los Angeles, CA 90005


get directions


35-37 36th St, 2nd Floor Astoria, NY 11106


get directions


195 Montague St., 14th Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11201


get directions
Call Now!