NYC Arson Lawyers
Arson Laws in New York
In New York, there are five different levels of arson charges, and there are also numerous defenses that can be used to fights these charges. Arson is defined as the act of setting a building or property on fire without the consent of the owner. However, the definition of arson can be further broken down based on the type of property that was involved in the crime. Other factors may include the type of fire that was started, the risk of potential harm to those around the fire, and how many times an individual has been convicted of a past crime.
Arson is considered a dangerous and destructive act with the potential to cause harm to innocent people. For this reason, prosecutors have a low tolerance for those accused of arson, which is why it is imperative to seek guidance from a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A New York criminal defense attorney can help you establish a strong defense to fight the charges.
According to New York Penal code 150.00, a building is defined as any vehicle or structure. In addition, the code states that a watercraft is considered a building if the owner uses it for overnight lodging. Arson is thought to be a malicious and intentional crime. A prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the fire was purposefully set, but this is a criminal act of possession and not a crime of ownership. As a result, an individual can be charged for arson if he or she sets fire to their place of residence.
There are certain factors that are considered with this crime that include the intent of the accused, the substances and materials that were used to start the fire, if any human was in imminent danger, or if anyone was actually harmed as a result of the fire.
In addition, the type of building that was set on fire will have a deciding factor on how an individual is charged. For example, if an individual burns down a nonresidential building that is unoccupied, it will result in a less severe charge than an individual who set fire to a residential home that was occupied.
What are the Penalties if an Individual is Convicted of Arson?
If an individual is charged with arson in the fifth degree, he or she could face up to one year in jail. This is the only arson charge that is a misdemeanor, so those convicted of a higher charge could face a prison sentence and other penalties. In addition, arson in the first degree is a violent A-1 felony and can comes with a minimum prison sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of 25 years. However, there are strategic defenses, which can be used if applicable, that may reduce the charges. In addition, some affirmative defenses can even get cases dismissed. Those who are facing arson charges should act promptly and contact a criminal defense attorney. The sooner those accused of this crime contact an attorney, the more time the attorney has to establish a defensive strategy that increases the likelihood of a successful outcome.
If you have been charged with arson, contact the Spodek Law Group for assistance. The talented group of attorneys at Spodek Law Group work diligently to get cases dismissed or charges drastically pleaded down. Our legal experts have more than 40 years of experience as criminal defense attorneys and understand how to successfully establish successful defense strategies. The Spodek Law Group is one of the few law firms to have a five star rating on yelp. Moreover, the firm is also highly reviewed on other platforms that include Find Law, Super Lawyers, and Google Places.