When you are charged with arson inFloridayou potentially face first-degree felony charges. Remember that you have the right to consult with aSouth Floridacriminal defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested. The advice of your lawyer could save you from further conviction, maximum sentencing and wrongful convictions.
Classifying Arson in Florida
According to theFloridastatutes, arson is when you willfully and unlawfully damage a dwelling or structure by fire or explosion. This is known as arson in the first-degree and is a felony of the first degree. A dwelling in this case is a building designed to house people. A structure refers to a building where people are normally present, such as a hospital, department store, office building, school, or other similar facilities.
Arson in the second degree is a lesser charge as it pertains to structures that are not normally occupied by people such as warehouses and storage units. Second-degree arson is a second-degree felony.
Additional penalties can arise when a person or persons are injured in the course of committing arson. These charges can range from a misdemeanor of the first degree for causing bodily harm to another to a second-degree felony for great bodily harm, permanent disability or disfigurement.
Defenses for Being Charged with Arson in Florida
Upon your arrest for committing arson you have the right to aSouth Floridacriminal defense lawyer. You should exercise this right immediately to give you the best outcome for a fair trial.
YourSouth Floridacriminal defense lawyer can help you avoid further incrimination by advising you on what questions to answer from the police or judge. You have the right not to answer during questioning to avoid self-incrimination.
The details of being charged with arson inFloridaare important to your defense. A South Florida criminal defense lawyer can investigate the circumstances of the events that led to you being charged with arson inFloridaand make sure that nothing about your case is amiss.
Because there are 2 levels of arson and the classification of your charges depends on the type of structure or dwelling you damaged, there is some gray area of how you should be penalized. An experienced South Florida criminal defense lawyer can often help you argue a lesser sentence and avoid the maximum penalties when you are charged with arson inFlorida.