Fort Lauderdale Burning Property Charges Lawyer
If you have been accused of arson or burning any type of property in Fort Lauderdale you may be faced with some serious jail time. Arson charges can also include charges of criminal mischief.
In Fort Lauderdale intentionally starting a building or forest fire is a felony. Penalties depend on the type of property damaged by the fire. If you injured anyone by the fire you will face additional criminal charges. Guy Seligman is an arsen criminal defense lawyer covering: Fort Lauderdale, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Miramar, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, Davie, Plantation, Sunrise, Deerfield Beach, Weston, Tamarac and all of Broward County.
Under Florida Law
806.01 Arson.—(1) Any person who willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged:(a) Any dwelling, whether occupied or not, or its contents;
(b) Any structure, or contents thereof, where persons are normally present, such as: jails, prisons, or detention centers; hospitals, nursing homes, or other health care facilities; department stores, office buildings, business establishments, churches, or educational institutions during normal hours of occupancy; or other similar structures; or
(c) Any other structure that he or she knew or had reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being,
is guilty of arson in the first degree, which constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(2) Any person who willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged any structure, whether the property of himself or herself or another, under any circumstances not referred to in subsection (1), is guilty of arson in the second degree, which constitutes a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) As used in this chapter, “structure” means any building of any kind, any enclosed area with a roof over it, any real property and appurtenances thereto, any tent or other portable building, and any vehicle, vessel, watercraft, or aircraft.
Penalties for Arson Conviction in Fort Lauderdale
Arson is a second-degree felony with a penalty of 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.
Under Fla. Stat. § 590.28(1) it is a third-degree felony to intentionally burn wild lands that do not belong to you. This includes starting a forest fire. If convicted of this felony, you can face up to five years in prison, and/or $5,000 in fines or both. If your crime is considered to be a second-degree misdemeanor you could face 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.
Arson Resulting in Death or Injury
If anyone dies or is injured by the fire, you can face other charges. Under Fla. Stat. § 806.031 there are additional penalties on top of any penalties that result from a conviction for arson. Any bodily harm to anyone resulting from the fire can result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge and additional penalties of 60 days in jail, a $500 fine or both.
Bodily Harm and Second Degree Felony
A fire causing severe bodily harm, a permanent disability or a permanent disfigurement to anyone, even if the arsonist never meant to hurt anyone, can result in a second-degree felony charge and additional penalties of 15 years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.
Other Related Violent Crimes
Fire Bomb Charges
Florida Stat. § 806.111(2)(b) defines a “fire bomb” as a container containing flammable or combustible liquid, or any incendiary chemical mixture or compound that has a wick or other means of lighting the device. This does not include commercially produced items intended for lighting, heating, or cooking that have not been altered or modified. If convicted of making or possessing a fire bomb, this is a third degree felony and you face up to five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines or both.
Get An Arson Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
Arson charges are serious accusations that can carry steep penalties. Call arson attorney Guy Seligman today