Arson Charge Defense
Polk County Florida Criminal Defense Firm providing Criminal Arson Defense Attorney – Lawyer Legal Services in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, and the surrounding Central Florida area.
What is Arson?
According to Florida Criminal Statute§806.01, the criminal act of arson occurs when any person willfully and unlawfully causes damage to any structure or conveyance by use of fire or explosion, regardless if the structure or conveyance is occupied or not. This also includes fires or explosions that occurred during the commission of any felony crime, regardless if the fire or explosion was an accident or not.
Maximum Arson Conviction Penalty
If the arson causes damage and has occurred while the structure or conveyance was unoccupied it is a felony of the second degree which carries a maximum penalty of 15 years incarceration and a $10,000 fine.
If the arson has occurred while and the accused knew or had reasonable grounds to believe the structure or conveyance was occupied by a human being it is a felony of the first degree which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years incarceration and a $15,000 fine.
If the arson results in the untimely death of another the accused could be charged and tried for a manslaughter or capital murder. In a capital murder case, the prosecution may seek the death penalty against the accused. Of course, with any capital crime, intent to end another’s life must be proven. Otherwise it is a felony manslaughter case.
Burden of Proof for an Arson Conviction
In order to obtain a conviction for arson the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were present at the structure or conveyance to commit the act of arson, that you had means to commit the arson, and that you carried out the act of arson. Motive may or not have to be proven in an arson case depending on specific issues surrounding the case and evidence against you. If the defense presented by your attorney at trial causes just one jury member to have reasonable doubt as to the accused guilt of committing the arson, as it relates to the current trial, the accused cannot be found guilty. If the jury believes that your defense was more credible or viable than the prosecution’s case, than you may be acquitted of all charges.
For more information regarding the burden of proof relating to arson charges and potential defense strategies that may be available to you, contact our office by calling 863.937.9100.
If a dismissal of your arson charge is not possible, we will ensure you are fully aware of your legal options going forward such negotiating for a plea deal, or in the case of a trial ensure you are fully aware of every aspect regarding defense strategies that may best serve in the defense of the charges against you.
Each arson charge defense attorney, lawyer, and staff member in our law firm are ready to assist you in even the most difficult of legal challenges you may be facing. We will aggressively represent your legal needs, interests, and goals regarding your criminal arson charge issues, as well as other misdemeanor and felony criminal defense related legal issues.
If you must address arson charge defense issues in Lakeland, Winter Haven, Bartow, Polk County, or the surrounding Central Florida area, speak to an experienced arson defense attorney – lawyer at Carroll Law Group, P.L. today by calling 863.937.9100.