In Fort Myers, arson is seen as a serious crime and is treated as such. This means that anyone who is convicted of arson should not expect to be treated leniently by the court and should expect severe punishments, such as extortionate fines, long jail times, and a criminal record that can have a negative impact on your future. These penalties vary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case and exactly how much destruction was caused.
If you are facing charges of arson, then you need to contact a Fort Myers law firm immediately. A criminal defense lawyer from The Law Place will be able to defend you and help you through the complicated and confusing Florida legal system to give you the best chance at receiving the outcome that you are hoping for. Our attorneys all have an abundance of experience from working with plenty of other arson cases that are just like yours, and so will be able to offer you sound and trustworthy legal advice.
The phone lines at The Law Place are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so schedule a free consultation today to have one of our experienced lawyers look over your case with you. Contact us at (941) 444-4444.
What Is Arson?
Put simply; arson is when you deliberately injure someone or destroy property through the use of fire or an explosion. This is an offense that brings severe penalties to those who are found guilty and should be taken seriously by any defendants charged with arson. This is why it is so highly recommended that you contact a law firm to receive proper legal advice.
If you have been charged with committing arson in Fort Myers, then you should contact The Law Place immediately. The sooner you get in touch with us, the more time our lawyers will have to build a strong case defending you, so call us now to schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys. You can trust that our team will do everything possible to ensure that you get the best outcome possible.
What Are the Three Elements of Arson?
In Fort Myers, in order for the prosecution to successfully accuse the defendant of arson resulting in injury, they must be able to clearly establish the following three elements of the crime committed:
- The defendant willfully and unlawfully started an explosion or a fire or, while they were engaged in the commission of a felony, they triggered an explosion or a fire.
- The fire or explosion that was caused damaged a dwelling (either occupied or not), a structure, or the belongings inside of a structure that people are usually inside at the time of the fire or explosion, a structure that you knew, or should have known, would be occupied at the time of the fire or explosion, or a structure that the defendant owns.
- The fire or explosion directly or indirectly resulted in another person suffering from bodily injury, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or severe bodily injury.
This basically means that the prosecution must be able to prove that you, the defendant, purposely started a fire or an explosion while you either knew or should have known that someone would be put in danger, and this person was then injured as a result of the fire. This is stated clearly in Florida Statute 806.01.
These elements can be easier to prove than you may realize, and so it is crucial that you contact a Fort Myers law firm to help. The criminal defense attorneys at The Law Place have 75 years of combined experience in dealing with the Florida legal system and helping people defend themselves against cases just like yours. You can trust that our tenacious lawyers will be entirely dedicated to your case and fighting to ensure that your charges are either reduced or completely dismissed, that you beat your case, or, in the worst case, that you receive only the most lenient penalties possible.
What Penalties Do You Face for Committing Arson in Fort Myers, FL?
While every case may receive different penalties based on the specific circumstances, there are a few guidelines that the legal system in Fort Myers follows. Below are the penalties you can expect to receive for committing these types of arson:
- Arson that caused bodily harm – This is classified as a first-degree misdemeanor, and you could be looking at penalties including a fine of up to $500 and a prison sentence of up to one year.
- Arson that caused severe bodily harm – If the fire or explosion that you started resulted in people suffering from great bodily harm, permanent disability, or permanent disfigurement, then you could be sentenced to up to 15 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000. The penalties are more severe, as this is often classed as a second-degree felony.
- Arson resulting in injury with a criminal record – If you are convicted of arson resulting in injury, and you have prior convictions of at least two felonies, then under Florida Statute 775.084, you are subject to harsher penalties or a compulsory jail sentence.
These penalties are incredibly steep and can have a huge impact on your life, mentally, physically, and financially. This is why our Fort Myers criminal defense attorneys want to help you avoid them. At The Law Place, our criminal defense attorneys possess the necessary skill, experience, and knowledge to fight for your case. We will work tirelessly with you to minimize the impact that this charge has on you and your life.
Defending Against Arson Charges in Fort Myers, FL.
All arson cases are different, and so your criminal defense attorney will build a defense based around the specifics of your case to increase the likelihood of a successful result. Some of the most common defense arguments that could be considered for your case are as follows:
- Lack of intent – In order to be convicted of first-degree felony arson, the prosecution must be able to prove that you intended to cause damage with no care for life or property. Here at The Law Place, our attorneys may be able to present evidence that you did not intend for this result and that the fire was an accident rather than deliberate.
- Accidental damage – Your attorney may be able to defend you by presenting evidence suggesting that while you did cause a fire, you did it accidentally and did not intend for there to be any property damage or for it to injure anyone.
- Complete innocence – Your attorney may be able to successfully argue that this is a case of mistaken identity, especially if you have an alibi, and that you were not at all involved in the incident and didn’t commit the crime. Perhaps the witness merely mistakenly identified you.
- Incorrect forensic evidence – It may be possible to present evidence proving that the prosecution’s forensic analysis was biased or inaccurate.
When you’re in court, the prosecution will present their case and the evidence they have against you. Our Fort Myers attorneys will be able to question the legitimacy and accuracy of the evidence and will also gather their own evidence to help your defense. Your lawyer will also investigate the circumstances around your arrest to ensure that none of your rights were violated. If they were, then your lawyer will be able to use this to weaken the prosecution’s case.
If you choose to work with The Law Place, you can trust that our dedicated lawyers will prioritize you and your case and will fight on your behalf for your charges to be dismissed or reduced. At the very least, we will ensure that you receive only the most lenient penalties possible, so contact us today to discuss your case with a skilled lawyer.
Speak to The Law Place Today!
A criminal charge of arson will affect your life, not just in the present with fines and jail time, but in the future as well. This is why it is so crucial that you contact us today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense lawyers have the experience and knowledge required to fight for the best possible result for your case. So, get in touch today and call us at (941) 444-4444!