When you are accused of intentionally causing a damaging fire or explosion, you face the risk of an arson conviction, which could lead to serious penalties. If the fire related to your charges occurred when a person was present or led to the injuries of others, those penalties can become even more severe. Even if you did not intentionally start a damaging fire or explosion, you can be charged with arson if is believed that you acted with reckless behavior that led to the incident. In the state of Kansas, arson is considered a very serious property crime, so prosecutors will not approach the matter lightly.
Arson offenses involving structures made up 45.9 percent of all arsons for the year of 2011 that were fully reported to the FBI by law enforcement agencies, according to the FBI's Uniform Crime Reports Arsons involving mobile property made up 23.9 percent, while arsons of other types of property made up 30.2 percent. The average amount of financial loss per arson was $13,196.
Whether you are falsely accused or simply made a mistake, you will need a knowledgeable lawyer to advocate for you in court. Even if there appears to be evidence that proves your guilt, there is still a chance that a criminal defense attorney can help you refute that evidence.
What are Kansas State laws regarding arson?
In the state of Kansas, arson is defined as knowingly damaging property through a fire or an explosive, according to Kansas Statute §21-5812 There are various different scenarios of arson that the law addresses.
Whether the incident led to damage of a residential structure, or some other type of building or property, it is considered arson in the following situations:
- When person who owns or has interest in the property did not give consent for the damage done
- When the damage was carried out with the purpose of injuring or defrauding the insurer or lienholder of the property
- When the damage was done accidentally as a result of illegally making, or attempting to make, any controlled substance, including those intended for human consumption
In cases in which the individual is accused of causing the fire for insurance fraud the damage could be done to the suspected offender's own property or the property of another person. In these cases, prosecutors will try to show that the accused individual set the fire or explosion for his or her own financial gain, such as in order to collect insurance benefits.
Different Types of Arson Felonies
When arson leads to the damage of a person's dwelling, it is a severity level 6 person felony. When it leads to damage of a building or property that is not considered a dwelling, it is a severity level 7 non-person felony. Arson becomes a severity level 7 person felony when it involves the manufacturing of controlled substances.
Whatever the situation is that led to your arson charges, you should seek a legal counsel immediately so you can be sure to have plenty of time for the preparation of your defense. A skilled Johnson County criminal defense attorney might be able to prove that you did not commit reckless or intentional arson or that there is not enough evidence to convict you. If a conviction is inevitable, there might be an opportunity to lessen the severity of your sentencing.
Contact an Johnson County Criminal Defense Attorney from Our Firm
You should not try to take matters into your own hands. Instead, contact a Johnson County criminal defense attorney from Martin & Wallentine, LLC for a chance of having your case represented by an experienced lawyer who will aggressively push for positive results in your case. We know how to handle arson cases, as well as cases related to many other criminal offenses.
By contacting our office, you can schedule a time to meet with one of our attorneys for a consultation.
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