In Florida, a person may be charged with first-degree arson if he or she unlawfully and willfully causes damage by fire or explosion to any dwelling, either occupied or not, a structure where people are normally present, like a jail or prison, detention centers, health care facilities, department stores, business establishments, office buildings, educational institutions during normal hours of operation, churches, or any other structure that a person is thought to have occupied. First degree arson is a felony, and if you are convicted of the crime, you can go to prison for up to 30 years and pay substantial fines and court costs. If you have been arrested for arson, contact an experienced Sarasota or Tampa arson lawyer to find out your options and fight the charge. We at Pallegar Law, P.A., handle all types of criminal cases in the Tampa Bay area.
A person maybe charged with second-degree arson if he or she unlawfully and willfully causes damages by fire or explosion to any structure, regardless if it belongs to them or someone else, under any circumstance not mentioned above or if they cause bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement to a person regardless of the intentions to do so or not. In these situations, a structure is any kind of enclosed area or building with a roof, including tents, portable buildings, vehicles, vessels, watercrafts, or aircrafts. Second degree arson is a felony, and if you are convicted of the crime, you face a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison and maybe forced to pay $10,000 in court fines and other costs. If you or someone you know has been charged with the crime of arson, contact Pallegar Law, P.A. to be connected with an aggressive Tampa arson lawyer.
A person maybe charged with a first degree misdemeanor if he or she perpetrates any arson resulting in bodily harm to a person, regardless of if that person had the intent to do so or not. A person maybe charged with a second-degree felony if he or she perpetrates any arson resulting in severe bodily harm, or permanent disfigurement or disability, regardless of if that person had the intent to do so or not.
In 1981, a law was passed in Florida outlining an arson charge with the use of a “fire bomb”. The term “fire bomb” is defined under Florida law as a “container containing flammable liquid, or combustible liquid, or an incendiary chemical mixture or compound, having a wick or similar device capable of being ignited or other means capable of causing ignition; but no device commercially manufactured primarily for the purpose of illumination, heating, or cooking….” Florida Statute Chapter 806. The charge of arson using a firebomb is a third-degree felony, and if you are convicted you may face up to 5 years in prison and a large fine.
If you are charged with arson using a destructive device, you face a minimum mandatory prison sentence of ten years. You may also be charged with a felony if you created, possessed, sold, transported, or offered a firebomb to another person, knowing that it would be used to damage a structure or a piece of property.
If you are facing similar charges, it is important that you seek out an experienced Tampa arson lawyer by calling Pallegar Law, P.A. at 813-444-3912.