Arson

Are You Facing An Arson Charge? Call the criminal defense attorneys at Carter Pilgrim Attorneys At Law.

We’re the Criminal Defense Lawyers You Need For An Arson Charge

Being charged with Arson is a serious issue. In Georgia, it’s considered a serious offense and broken down in three degrees.
Here’s how arson offenses are broken down:

First-Degree Arson

By Georgia Law, a person is guilty of first-degree arson when:

  1. By means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage:
    1. Any dwelling house of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt, without the consent of both, whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant;
    2. Any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or other structure of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt, without the consent of both, if such structure is designed for use as a dwelling, whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant;
    3. Any dwelling house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant and when such is insured against loss or damage by fire or explosive and such loss or damage is accomplished without the consent of both the insurer and the insured;
    4. Any dwelling house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant with the intent to defeat, prejudice, or defraud the rights of a spouse or co-owner; or
    5. Any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure under such circumstances that it is reasonably foreseeable that human life might be endangered.
  2. In the commission of a felony, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage anything included or described in subsection (a) of this Code section.

Second-Degree Arson

By Georgia Law, a person is guilty of second-degree arson when:

  1. As to any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure not included or described in Code Section 16-7-60 when, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt, without the consent of both.
  2. As to any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure not included or described in Code Section 16-7-60 when, in the commission of a felony, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt, without the consent of both.

Third-Degree Arson

By Georgia Law, a person is guilty of third-degree arson when:

  1. By means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage:
    1. Any personal property of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a lien, without the consent of both and the value of the property is $25.00 or more;
    2. Any personal property when such is insured against loss or damage by fire or explosive and the loss or damage is accomplished without the consent of both the insurer and insured and the value of the property is $25.00 or more; or
    3. Any personal property with the intent to defeat, prejudice, or defraud the rights of a spouse or co-owner and the value of the property is $25.00 or more.
  2. In the commission of a felony, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage anything included or described in subsection (a) of this Code section.

Penalties for Arson in Georgia

A person convicted of arson will be penalized by:

  • First degree: Up to $50,000 and/or imprisonment for up to twenty years.
  • Second degree: Up to $25,000 and/or by imprisonment for up to ten years.
  • Third degree: Up to $10,000 and/or by imprisonment for up to five years.

An arson conviction is a felony conviction, which could make it difficult to obtain credit, buy a house, find employment, and will result in a forfeiture of voting rights.

 

What Has to be Proven?

The State must show that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to be convicted of arson in the first degree. This requires showing that the accused was the person who did the burning, and that the fire came from an incendiary origin. The two main parts of Arson are knowingly doing the damage, and damage being done by fire or explosives. A defendant cannot be convicted of arson without both of these elements being true.

Things That Aren’t Relevant In An Arson Defense

In all our experience as criminal defense attorneys in Gwinnett and surrounding counties, we have heard a wide variety of things that are not helpful to a successful arson defense.

Many people facing arson charges state that the building wasn’t occupied at the time of the fire. This makes no difference since this crime is about property damage as well as potentially other criminal offenses.

We have also heard of clients that said they were not the ones who started the fire, however, in Georgia, if there is proof that you encouraged, hired someone to set a fire, aided, advised or helped someone set a fire then you can be convicted as well.

 

Start with a Free Initial Consultation

If you or someone you love is facing an arson charge in Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Hall County Barrow County, Dawson County or Jackson County, call Carter Pilgrim Attorney at Law today.

Speak With A Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Our Service Area

We are located in Suwanee Georgia, but we defend clients throughout Gwinnett County, Forsyth County, Hall County, Barrow County, Jackson County, and Dawson County.  Contact our Atlanta law firm as soon as possible to learn how we advocate for your best interests.

Carter Pilgrim
Attorneys at Law


3725 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd, Suite A-4
Suwanee, GA 30024

Phone: Call our office 770-945-2320

Follow Us

0/5 (0 Reviews)