The Severity of an Arson Conviction in Florida

the Severity of an Arson Conviction in Florida May 23 2024

Did you know that over 1,000 people were arrested for arson offenses in the state of Florida in 2020? Arson is a criminal offense that can have serious consequences for those who are convicted.

In fact, arson is considered a felony in Florida and can result in a prison sentence and/or a fine. This article will discuss the arson laws in Florida, including the various penalties that may be imposed on those convicted of committing arson, as well as the procedures that must be followed in order to prosecute an arson case.

What is Arson?

Section 806.01 of the Florida Statutes defines arson as the unlawful setting of a fire, with the specific intent to destroy or injure property while committing any felony, through fire or explosion.

Arson laws in Florida vary depending on the type of property that was damaged. Standing timber and green trees are protected under state law, while buildings and other structures are not. Florida law defines property as:

  1. Any residential structure, regardless of whether it is inhabited or not, as well as its contents.
  2. Any building, or the contents of any building, in which people are typically present. Examples include prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, department stores, and office buildings.
  3. Any other building that the person knew or had reasonable grounds to believe was inhabited.

Arson may be considered a first or second-degree crime. A person is guilty of a first-degree felony if they participate in any of the offenses mentioned above. A person is guilty of a second-degree felony if they participate in any other offenses involving fire that is not specified in the definition.

Penalties for Arson

As mentioned above, arson is classed as a felony in Florida, If convicted of charges classified as second-degree arson, a person may face a maximum of 15 years prison time and a $10,000 fine. For a conviction of first-degree arson, these penalties are increased to 30 years prison time and a $10,000 fine.

In addition, the defendant may be required to serve probation, may be required to submit to residential or community service, and pay restitution to the victim for damages caused by the fire.

If someone is injured as a result of the fire, then penalties will be more severe.

Convicting Someone of Arson

In order to convict someone of arson in Florida, prosecutors must show that the person intentionally started a fire with the intent to cause damage or harm. This can be done through physical evidence, such as burn patterns on the victim’s property, or by testimony from eyewitnesses. In some cases, defendants may be able to avoid criminal charges if they can show that they were acting in self-defense or defense of another person when they set fire to the property.

What to do if you are arrested for arson

If you are arrested for arson in Florida, you may be facing a felony charge and possible imprisonment. There are a variety of arson laws in Florida, and it is important to know what they are in order to protect yourself from potential penalties.

You may also be charged with arson if you engage in reckless burning, which is setting fire to any type of inflammable material without having any intention of causing serious damage or injury. Reckless burning carries a sentence of up to sixty days in jail, six months of probation, and a fine of up to $500

In order to avoid criminal charges for arson in Florida, it is important that you know the state’s specific arson laws. If you are arrested for this, a competent attorney is vital for your defense.

Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney if You Are Accused of Committing Arson

Arson is a serious crime that is punished as severely as possible. If you are accused of starting a fire with the intent to harm someone or property, it is important that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney can help you navigate the complex arson laws in Florida and protect your rights during the criminal proceedings that may follow.

At Hanlon Law, our attorneys have an in-depth understanding of Florida law. We specialize in handling arson cases, and we consistently work with our clients to ensure they receive the best defense possible.

If you or someone you know has been arrested for arson offenses, contact our office today. You deserve the best legal representation, and we’re here to help!

Hanlon Law
600 Cleveland St #1100
Clearwater, FL 33755
(727) 897-5413

Attorney Will Hanlon
Attorney Will Hanlonhttps://www.criminalattorneytampa.net/
As a native Floridian and criminal defense attorney, my family history in Tampa spans generations. Since being admitted to The Florida Bar almost 20 years ago, I founded Hanlon Law and have gained extensive legal experience in criminal courtrooms in and around Tampa and throughout Florida.

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