There are a number of different causes of a fire. However, if a person intentionally starts a fire, he or she could end up encountering arson charges. Even though arson laws differ from state to state, many states, including the state of Georgia, treat arson as a severe offense. Georgia divides arson into three different statutes: arson in the first degree, second degree, and third degree. No matter which of the three you are facing, it is imperative that you have a skilled Cobb County criminal defense lawyer on your side. Give us a call today to obtain the representation you need to protect your future.
What are the various degrees of arson recognized in the state of Georgia?
There are three degrees of arson that are punishable in Georgia. Each degree has different meanings and consequences. They include the following:
First-degree arson (Section 16-7-60): By means of fire or explosives, knowingly damage or advise/encourage another to damage:
- An occupied or unoccupied dwelling or structure designed for use as a dwelling that either belongs to another or another has a security interest in;
- An occupied or unoccupied dwelling, building, or vehicle when it’s insured against loss or damage by fire or explosive;
- An occupied or unoccupied dwelling, building, or vehicle with the intent to defeat, prejudice, or defraud the rights of a co-owner or spouse; or
- Any structure or vehicle when it’s reasonably foreseeable that it may endanger human life.
Second-degree arson (Section 16-7-61): By means of fire or explosive, knowingly damage or advise/encourage another to damage property that is not mentioned in Section 16-7-60 and belongs to someone else.
Third-degree arson (Section 16-7-62): By means of fire or explosive, knowingly damage or advise/encourage another to damage any personal property valued at $25.00 or more if:
- It belongs to another or someone else has a security interest in it;
- It’s insured against loss or damage by fire or explosive; or
- It’s done with the intent to defeat, prejudice, or defraud the rights of a co-owner or spouse.
To learn more about the degrees of arson, or if you have been charged, it is in your best interest to reach out to our firm today.
What are the penalties associated with each charge?
Arson charges are taken very seriously. As a result, if you have been charged, you can expect jail time and large fines. The consequences may include:
- First-degree arson: prison term of no less than one year and no more than 20 years and/or $50,000.
- Second-degree arson: prison term of no less than one year and no more than 10 years and/or a fine not surpassing $25,000.
- Third-degree arson: prison term of no less than one year and no more than 5 years and/or a fine not surpassing $10,000.
Contact Our Experienced Firm
If you are facing criminal charges, or have been injured due to the negligence of another party, our firm will fight for you. Contact Miller Law Practice today.