Arson is when a person deliberately sets fire to a property. The State of Florida takes arson very seriously, and it is classed as a felony crime. Arson is not as common as burglary, theft, or other types of criminal mischief, but it still happens quite frequently.
If you are facing arson charges, then you should expect to spend a long time in jail and pay large fines. However, it is possible that you might have been wrongfully charged or accused. We highly recommend that you seek legal counsel with a St. Petersburg criminal defense attorney following an accusation of arson.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of combined experience when it comes to fighting arson charges for clients who live in St. Petersburg and all over the State of Florida. Our team of criminal defense lawyers has the necessary knowledge and skills to tackle your case and achieve a favorable outcome in the end.
Our law firm has successfully managed a variety of cases ranging from arson, burglary, theft, and criminal mischief. If you trust us with your case, then you should know that your case is in capable hands. A criminal defense attorney from The Law Place will work hard to get your charges reduced and minimize the severity of the consequences.
If you have questions in regard to arson, then you should get in touch with a criminal defense attorney from our law firm. Our phone lines are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week so that we can be there for you at any time of the day or night.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation.
What Is Arson in St. Petersburg, FL?
Arson is described as someone who “willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, causes damages,” as stated in Florida Statute 806.01.
It applies to the following situations:
- A dwelling or the contents, whether it was occupied or not.
- A structure where people are usually present.
- A structure that the person was aware or should have been aware was occupied.
In simpler terms, a structure is known as a building or enclosed space with a roof. It can include tents, motor vehicles, and more.
Arson is classed as a felony offense in the State of Florida. A felony is the most serious type of crime. Arson is a felony due to the high potential it has to cause disaster and damage to innocent people and property. If someone commits arson, then they will face serious penalties.
It is crucial that you contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible when you have been accused of arson. The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place have the necessary knowledge, skills, and resources to fight your case in court. You will have a much better outcome if you let one of our criminal defense lawyers manage your case. Call our office to set up a free consultation now.
What Are the Different Degrees of Arson in St. Petersburg, FL?
Arson is a felony offense, which means that it will be taken very seriously by the judge and jury. However, there are various degrees that are used to define the level of severity of a crime. Arson can be classed as a first-degree felony and second-degree felony.
- Fire degree arson – A first-degree charge of arson involves willfully and unlawfully causing damage to a dwelling or structure by fire or explosion. In this case, a dwelling is a building (occupied or not), and a structure is a building where people are usually present, for example, a religious institution or a health care facility during hours of operation.
- Second-degree arson – A second-degree charge of arson involves damage to a structure where people are not usually present caused by fire or an explosion, for example, a storage facility outside of working hours or setting fire to garbage cans.
First-degree arson and second-degree arson are both serious charges. If you have been charged with either one, you must take it seriously and understand the weight of the charge. You should contact a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place in order to give yourself the best chance of battling the charges in St. Petersburg. Call us now to schedule a free consultation.
Penalties for Arson in St. Petersburg, FL.
- Second-degree arson – A charge of second-degree arson is classed as a second-degree felony in the State of Florida. The penalties include spending up to 15 years in prison, 15 years of probation, and paying a $10,000 fine.
- First-degree arson – A charge of first-degree arson is classed as a first-degree felony in the State of Florida. The penalties include spending up to 30 years in prison, 30 years of probation, and paying a $10,000 fine.
Common Injuries Caused By Arson in St. Petersburg, FL.
First-degree arson and second-degree arson are defined as violent crimes due to the fact that they can lead to serious injuries or even death. The most common types of injuries caused in arson attacks include:
- Burns, cuts, lacerations, and scarring.
- Lung damage caused by smoke inhalation.
- Emotional distress and serious psychological trauma.
- Wrongful death (Florida Statute 768.21).
You will face harsher penalties depending on the seriousness of the injuries that were caused in the arson attack in St. Petersburg. It is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place to receive legal advice.
Common Types of Damage Caused By Arson Attacks in St. Petersburg, FL.
An arson attack almost always results in property damage. The most common types of damages caused in arson attacks include:
- Structural damage.
- Smoke damage, including the etching of glass, discoloration of surfaces and walls, and corrosion.
- Damage, including destruction and loss of personal property.
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Place will work hard to tackle your charges and get them reduced to a second-degree felony, which means that the penalties are not as serious as a first-degree felony. A charge of arson in the second degree means that you will receive a fine of up to $10,000 and spend no more than 15 years in prison. However, we will not stop there. If you hire a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place, we will fight to ensure that you receive the best possible outcome. We understand that every case is different, and we will craft a defense strategy that suits the facts of your unique case. If you put your trust in us, then we will fight zealously to win your case, get your charges reduced and make sure that you receive the most lenient penalties possible. You can call our office to speak to a St. Petersburg criminal defense lawyer now. Our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Additional Consequences for Arson in the First Degree in St. Petersburg, FL.
You will be fined and sent to jail as a direct consequence of arson. In addition, you will now have a criminal record that will most likely impact the rest of your life. If you have a count of first-degree arson on your criminal record, then you will face difficulty when:
- Employment – There are many employers who will not offer jobs to people who have criminal records.
- Education – There are many colleges that will not accept students who have criminal records.
- Loans – There are many banks that will deny loans or overdrafts to people who have criminal records.
- Mortgages – There are many lenders that will not give a mortgage or rent agreement to people who have criminal records.
- Custody – There are many family lawyers that will restrict custody or visitation rights over children when a person has a criminal record.
- Licenses – There are many licensers that will stop people who have a criminal record from acquiring certain licenses.
When you have been charged with arson, you are probably not going to think of consequences besides jail time or fines. It is important that you contact a criminal defense attorney from The Law Place in order to give yourself the best chance of winning the case and avoiding the above consequences.
How Could a Lawyer Defend You in Court in St. Petersburg, FL?
It is important that you understand that all cases are different from the next, and each one will require a specific defense to beat the charge. In this case, you will need a skilled lawyer who is capable of adapting and building strong defense strategies. The good news is that you have come to the right place – The Law Place! Here are some of the most common defense methods that we have used to defend arson charges in the State of Florida:
- Complete innocence – You were wrongfully accused of committing arson, or you were not involved in the act at all.
- Lack of intent – You did not intend to start the fire. It was an accident. If we are able to prove lack of intent, then you cannot be charged with arson because you did not start the fire “willfully and unlawfully.”
- Accidental – You started the fire, but you did not intend for the fire to cause property damage or injure other people.
- Evidence – A criminal defense lawyer might be able to argue that the evidence was false or obtained through an unlawful search and seizure.
- Permission – If you had the permission of the landowner to start the first, then you can use the evidence or permission to defend your case.
We have many more defense strategies that could suit your case. If you want to give yourself the greatest chance of securing a favorable outcome, then you should get in touch with The Law Place now. A criminal defense attorney will give you professional advice and answer all of your questions now.
If you choose us to represent your case, then we will create a strong defense on your behalf. We always maintain positive attorney-client relationships, and we will make sure that you feel at home at our law firm. If you put your trust in us, then we will be sure to win your case. Our team of criminal defense lawyers will investigate your charges, collect evidence, deal with paperwork, discuss your case with the prosecutors, speak to eyewitnesses, develop a defense strategy and prepare to fight for your legal rights in the courtroom. Our criminal defense lawyers are highly trained to challenge the legitimacy and accuracy of the prosecution. If you have questions for us, then you should call our office to set up a free consultation now.
Contact The Law Place Today in St. Petersburg, FL.
If you have been accused of committing arson in St. Petersburg, then you should seek legal counsel as soon as possible. You should take arson charges very seriously, and you need to understand the impact that they will have on the rest of your life. We highly recommend that you find a law firm that specializes in arson to battle your charges.
At The Law Place, we have over seventy-five years of collective experience and knowledge in managing fire or explosion cases for people who live in St. Petersburg and throughout the State of Florida. Our law firm has an in-depth understanding of arson, and we have successfully managed hundreds of arson cases over the years.
We understand that you are in the middle of a stressful time, and we want to make it easier for you. If you choose us to represent your case, then we will fight vigorously for your legal rights. Our team of criminal defense lawyers has the necessary knowledge and skills to develop a considered defense strategy and manage your case with efficiency. We will work hard to reduce your arson charges or decrease the penalties as much as possible.
If you have questions in regard to your arson case, then you should talk to a criminal defense lawyer now. We will discuss the details of your case and answer all of your questions. Our phone lines are available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
Contact The Law Place now on (941) 444-4444 to schedule a free consultation.