Understanding Arson and its Penalties in West Palm Beach
Florida Statute 806.01 – Arson & Criminal Mischief in West Palm Beach
Arson is a crime of intentionally, deliberately and maliciously setting fire to buildings, wildland areas, abandoned homes, vehicles or other property with the intent to cause damage. It may be distinguished from other causes such as spontaneous combustion, accidental fires (smoking in bed, e.g.) and natural wildfires. Arson often involves fires deliberately set to the property of another or to one’s own property in order to collect insurance compensation.
(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.
Hire a West Palm Beach Arson Lawyer
Arson is a serious, felony charge that requires a defense attorney with the experience to protect your rights. Wayne Richter is a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer that works tirelessly to defend his clients. Schedule a free initial consultation with Wayne and he will obtain a copy of your police report and evaluate the potential defenses to your case.