David G. Moore Attorney At Law
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When can I be charged with first degree arson?


There are a lot of very serious crimes in Michigan. When you are on the receiving end of criminal accusations involving these crimes, you may be in for the fight of your life. For that reason, it is imperative that you familiarize yourself with the law and consult with a criminal defense attorney who may be able to help you protect your legal rights and fight back against overbearing and aggressive prosecutors. One of the more serious criminal charges you may need to challenge is arson.

Arson is a criminal offense that occurs when you intentionally damage personal property or cause injury by setting a fire or using an explosive. First degree arson is defined as a malicious act using fire or explosive that damages a multiunit building where there is at least one dwelling, any building if the fire results in harm to an individual, or a mine. Typically, the value of the property damaged, or if an individual was harmed, as a result of the offense will determine which type of arson charge you may face, which could affect the potential penalties you could face and the type of criminal defense you may need to present.

Arson, like many criminal offenses, is broken into degrees depending on the severity of the crime. A conviction could lead to lesser or greater penalties, depending on the degree of the offense charged. So, a first degree arson conviction could result in punishment as harsh as life in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000 or three times the monetary value of any property that was harmed during the commission of the offense.

There is a lot at stake when being hit with arson allegations, and failing to adequately defend against them could lead to long-term consequences and a felony record. Therefore, if you are accused of arson, you should be prepared to take the legal steps necessary to protect yourself as fully as possible under the law.

Source: Michigan Legislature, "Section 750.72," accessed on June 5, 2015

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