People set fires for different reasons. Some cases of arson are related to a structure fire with the intent of defrauding an insurance company, or are the result of a campfire that has gone out of control, or electrical problem. If you intentionally and without consent set fire to any structure or cause an explosion to that structure, you will be in violation of the Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 2909: Arson and Related Offenses, and face charges for committing arson. Included in the category of property:
It does not have to be against real property, it can also be an offense against personal property like a car, boat, or truck. The crime increases in scope when the fire or explosion causes serious physical harm to another person or to an occupied structure. You can benefit from a Columbus criminal defense attorney since there are degrees of magnitude of this type of crime and the potential related penalties.
In the instance of an act of arson causing less than $1,000 in property damage and no injuries to others, then it would likely be a misdemeanor charge provided, it is not a repeat offense. If the value of the property damage was $1,000 or more then the offense becomes a 4th degree felony with increased punishments. A sentence following a conviction can lead to any of the following:
Under certain circumstances, arson may be escalated to the serious crime of aggravated arson. When an occupied building is set on fire, it places the people at substantial risk of serious physical harm. It carries a 2nd degree felony charge and a possible sentence of 2-8 years imprisonment with a maximum $15,000 in fines. If the arsonist creates a situation that causes severe injuries or deaths then the allegations may change to a 1st degree felony and if guilty, the sentence can mean 3-10 years in prison with fines up to $20,000. Any emergency responders, firefighters, police officers, and others called to the scene are all potential victims. If the explosion or fire was set on purpose and it takes a human life, then the charges may grow to 1st degree murder, in addition to other accusations.
To discuss your options for a legal defense against arson charges, call The Meranda Law Firm LTD.