Minneapolis Arson Defense Attorneys
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Fires can happen for several reasons, though a vast majority are caused by candles, heaters, faulty wiring, and even cigarettes. Each of these examples sparks a fire on accident, however, some fires are set deliberately to cause harm and damage property.
When fires are deliberately set to damage property or harm the individuals within the home or building, the person who set the fire could be charged with arson. Arson crimes are extremely serious and can result in extensive legal, professional, and personal repercussions. In Minnesota, an arson conviction can result in a lengthy prison sentence and expensive fines, based on the extent of the damage.
If you have been accused of arson in Minneapolis, Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. is ready to do whatever it takes to get your charged dropped or reduced. With more than 100 years of collective legal experience handling hundreds of jury trials throughout Minnesota, we can use our legal knowledge to protect your rights, reputation, and freedom.
Types of Arson & Penalties
There are five degrees of arson in Minnesota. First-degree arson is the most serious charge, while fifth-degree is the least serious. Individuals who commit arson commonly do so to destroy evidence of another crime, to enact revenge, commit vandalism, or sometimes to elicit an emotional response that comes with starting a fire.
The following is a breakdown of the different degrees of arson and the associated penalties:
- First-degree arson – Intentionally using fire or explosives to damage or destroy a person’s home (no matter if occupants were inside at the time of the act) or other buildings knowing someone was inside at the time. First-degree arson is punishable by a maximum 20-year prison term and a fine no more than $35,000.
- Second-degree arson – Intentionally using fire or explosives to damage or destroy any building not covered in first-degree arson or any other property valued over $1,000. Second-degree arson carries a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a maximum $20,000 fine.
- Third-degree arson – Intentionally using fire or explosives to damage or destroy property valued from $300 to $999. Third-degree arson results in a prison term no more than five years and a maximum $10,000 fine.
- Fourth-degree arson – Intentionally using fire or explosives to damage or destroy any property in an apartment complex or public building (e.g. school, gym, stadium, hotel, hospital, etc.). Fourth-degree arson is punishable by a maximum one-year prison term and a fine not exceeding $3,000.
- Fifth-degree arson – Intentionally using fire or explosives to burn any property. Fifth-degree arson carries a maximum 90-day jail sentence and a fine of up to $1,000.
Other forms of arson include wildfire arson and fires caused by negligence. Wildfire arson refers to the act of intentionally burning grass, timber, or any other vegetation on someone else’s property, whereas the latter involves gross negligence when starting a fire or letting it burn out of control.
Ready to Create Your Defense Today
With the penalties this serious, our Minneapolis arson defense lawyers will do our best to help you avoid them. We are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week to address alleged arson or any other criminal offense.
For more information, contact us and schedule a free consultation.