Arson is a serious crime that may be charged in either state or federal court. An individual is believed to have committed the crime of arson when he or she knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly burns, set fires to, or uses an explosive to either damage or destroy his or her own property, or damage or destroy another’s property without that party’s consent.
In the state of Colorado, arson may be classified as in the first, second, third, or fourth degree depending on numerous factors. The factors are:
- The type of property involved;
- Whose property it was;
- Whether the fire was set knowingly, intentionally, or recklessly;
- The value of the damaged property.
Arson is a crime taken so seriously that it is among the few crimes in the state without a statute of limitations. This means that arson may be prosecuted any number of years after it was originally committed.
Arson: Misdemeanor or Felony?
Colorado considers arson a misdemeanor when:
- A property other than an occupied structure or building was burned without fraudulent intent;
- There was less than $100 worth of damage involved;
- No individuals were endangered by the fire.
On the other hand, arson is classified as a felony when:
- The property burned was a building or occupied structure;
- The property was burned with the intent to defraud someone;
- The arson was committed knowingly or intentionally.
Penalties for Arson
Penalties for arson in Colorado is dependent on the level of arson committed, as well as the value and type of the involved property. At most, misdemeanors are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or one year imprisonment. On the other end of the spectrum, felony arson of an occupied structure or building involving explosives could land the guilty party in prison for up to 32 years.
Fighting an Arson Charge
Fighting an arson charge in Colorado is possible, regardless of whether intent has been established. Some common examples of defenses to arson are:
- The explosion or fire was an accident,
- The fire was not a result of arson,
- There is insufficient evidence,
- You were falsely accused and wrongfully arrested,
- You were mistakenly identified.
Contact Goldman Law, LLC Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of arson, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Law, LLC are here to help you.
At Goldman Law, LLC, we will advocate aggressively for your rights, minimize damage as best as we can, and immediately begin crafting a plan to position your case for the best resolution possible. We will do whatever we legally can to get your case dismissed and the charges against your dropped. If dismissal is not feasible, our legal team will strive to have your charges and sentences reduced.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you can make for your criminal case. To learn more about your rights and receive a professional case evaluation, contact Goldman Law, LLC at (720) 504-7437.