If you are facing an arson charge in Port Charlotte or anywhere else in Florida, then you could be looking at serious penalties, such as hefty fines, a prison sentence, and a criminal record. Therefore, it is essential that you seek the help of a criminal defense lawyer who will work to develop an aggressive defense strategy. A skilled lawyer may be able to question the evidence brought against you and have your case thrown out. Or if the evidence against you is too strong, they will fight to have your penalties reduced.
At The Law Place, we understand how devastating an arson charge in Port Charlotte can be. We will do everything in our power to create a strong criminal defense to help you escape the worse consequences.
Contact us today on (941) 444-4444 and seek a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How Is Arson Defined?
As per Florida State Statute 806.01, a person who commits arson damages a structure willfully and unlawfully using explosions or fire; a structure includes any property type that has the potential to hold humans.
Common structures where people commit arson include:
- Nursing homes.
- Health care facilities.
- Vehicles, including boatrs and aircraft.
If, on the other hand, a person damages something using fire or explosives that does not have the potential to contain humans, then this is usually a lesser crime.
Potential Penalties and Punishments
Of all the property crimes in Port Charlotte, arson is one of the most serious and is almost always considered a felony. In Florida, arson is recognized as a first or second-degree felony, depending on the structure that was damaged.
First-degree arson involves damaging a structure where people are normally present via an explosion or fire. For example, a corectional facility, someone’s home, a healthcare facility, or a religious institution during hours of operation.
Arson in the second degree involves structures that are not usually occupied, such as a storage facility after business hours.
For a first-degree felony, the penalties are outlined in Florida Statute 775.082 and include a $10,000 fine, thirty years in prison, and thirty years of probation. A second-degree felony also comes with a $10,000 fine, but the prison and probation sentences carry a maximum of 15 years.
Furthermore, if someone is injured or killed, then the perpetrator will likely have additional charges added. If someone suffers a minor injury, then the charges could include a first-degree misdemeanor, or a serious injury could add a second-degree felony charge.
Additional Consequences of an Arson Conviction
Following a conviction for arson in Port Charlotte, you will have a criminal conviction that is open to the public. This can make it very difficult for you to move forward with your life after you have served your penalties. For example, you could struggle with:
- Finding employment.
- Continuing education.
- Seeking child custody or visitation.
- Being approved for loans, mortgages, and other types of finance.
- Seeking certain licenses.
Defending Against Arson Charges
As soon as you have been accused of committing arson in Port Charlotte County, you should contact a criminal defense lawyer as quickly as possible. They will get right to work investigating your case and working to question any of the evidence brought against you. There may be witnesses, CCTV, fingerprints, and more. The sooner your attorney can get to work developing an aggressive criminal defense, the better.
Your criminal defense lawyer could look to argue that:
- You have been falsely accused; you did not start the fire.
- You did start the fire, but it was unintentional.
- You have been accused because of mistaken identity.
- The origin of the fire was not due to your actions, but rather there was an electrical issue or act of nature.
- The prosecution’s evidence is invalid or insufficient to prove that you committed arson.
Questions Many People Ask Before Hiring Us
At The Law Place, we understand that you are likely reading this in order to determine whether it is a good idea to hire us, which we think it is! However, we also think it is important that you do your research and that you are confident with the legal representation that you choose. If you have never needed a criminal defense lawyer before, it can be difficult to decide what firm is the best fit for you. Everyone is trying to sell themselves, and how do you really know who is best?
It is always a good idea to take advantage of free consultations, and we recommend that you ask the following types of questions:
- Do you have experience dealing with arson cases?
- Have you helped people to escape penalties for arson?
- Have you successfully worked out plea agreements?
- How many jury trials have you litigated?
- What are your fees for criminal defense, and how do I pay?
- Can you provide me with references from previous clients?
What Makes The Law Place Different From Other Florida Law Firms?
When you are facing an arson charge, you need the best representation. At The Law Place, we will listen to your story and attack your charges from every angle.
We have over 75 years of collective experience and pride ourselves on always developing our skills. With The Law Place, you essentially get a team of lawyers for the price of one. That is because we look at your case as a team so that no stone is left unturned. At the same time, you also get the attention and dedication of an attorney who is committed to your case and can help you deal with the stress that the Florida legal system can bring.
We have helped clients across Florida, and most of our attorneys are AVVO rated 10.00, the highest rating possible. The score is based on trial skills, length of practice, client reviews, awards, and associations.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys at The Law Place Today
When facing serious criminal charges, such as arson, choosing the right defense could be one of the most important decisions you have ever made.
We have helped thousands of people in Florida and will do everything in our power to have your charges dismissed or your penalties reduced.
We understand how stressful facing the Florida legal system can be, which is why our phone lines are always open.
Contact us today at (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation.