If you’ve been charged with arson, you may be facing hefty fines, restitution and lengthy imprisonment if you are convicted. The Law Firm of Shein & Brandenburg understands the laws governing arson crimes and can provide expert counsel and representation to make sure your rights are protected under the law while proving your innocence.
Understanding Arson Crimes in Georgia
The crime of arson is defined as willfully setting a fire with the malicious intent of burning and/or destroying property. This can include intentionally setting fire to homes and other structures, vehicles, forest lands, and even your own property (typically for the purpose of insurance fraud).
The laws governing arson crimes (as well as their penalties) vary from state to state, with many states categorizing them by degrees. The state of Georgia recognizes three degrees of arson, all of which are considered felonies. The penalties for arson are severe: conviction for third degree arson may result in prison time of up to 5 years per offense; second degree, up to 10 years per offense; and first degree, up to 20 years per offense. All degrees of arson may also result in fines and restitution of property. Additionally, under Georgia law, there is no classification of “accessory” when it comes to arson. Anyone who assists someone else in committing arson may also be charged as an arsonist.
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Defending Against Charges Of Arson
Arson cannot be committed by accident. For the state to convict you, it must prove that you intended to set the fire (or help someone else set the fire). Our attorneys are experts at understanding the nuances of the laws governing your case, as well as what constitutes intent, and what is admissible as evidence. We will carefully look at all the circumstances surrounding your case, advise you of your rights and options, and develop effective strategies from pre-trial mitigation of the charges to mounting an aggressive defense in court—and if necessary, we will follow up with appropriate appeals and strategies for sentence reduction if your charges result in a conviction.