Arson in the Second Degree
First-degree arson, as defined under O.C.G.A. 16-7-60, is the most serious arson charge. It occurs when someone knowingly damages or causes someone to damage property by fire or explosive. The property may be a house, vehicle, watercraft or other structure. The structure can be occupied or vacant. This is different than a second-degree arson charge.
To be charged with first-degree arson, the individual must commit the crime with the intent to defraud an insurance company or property owner. They can also be charged with arson if they committed the crime and it was reasonably foreseeable that people may be harmed.
Second-degree arson is a lesser charge, it is still serious. It is defined under the criminal statute of O.C.G.A. 16-7-61.
There is a huge difference between First Degree Arson and Second Degree Arson in Atlanta Georgia,
With second degree arson, there was no risk to human life. This means no one could have, nor did he suffer bodily injury as the result of the arson. Bodily harm is part of the first-degree arson charge.
Second-degree arson involves any type of fire or explosive that damages property not listed in first-degree arson. Also, you can be charged with second-degree arson if you helped, aided or abetted an individual who committed arson.
This is different from the first-degree arson charge because you are not accused of causing someone to set fire to property. Instead, you help the person who actually committed arson to try to get away with the crime. For instance, you hid the items used to set fire to property.
One similarity to the first-degree charge is that the property burned can be a structure like a:
- Railroad car
The statute does not include a dwelling of another. A dwelling is any place a person lives. If you have questions about your first-degree arson charge, come meet with an aggressive attorney at Yeargan & Kert, LLC.
A Second Degree Arson Charge can be Downgraded to a Third Degree Arson Charge in Atlanta Georgia
Third-degree arson charge is a lesser charge. It involves knowingly setting fire or using an explosive to set fire to property. The fine for a third-degree arson conviction is $10,000. It is punishable by five years in prison.
Contact Yeargan & Kert, LLC for Legal Representation in Your Atlanta Georgia Second Degree Arson Charge
The Penalty for a second-degree arson conviction is up to 10 years in prison. You may be sentenced to pay a $25,000 fine. Don’t risk being sentenced to jail time. Contact a skilled lawyer at Yeargan & Kert, LLC.
It may be hard to think about the thought of fighting the charge because you are facing so much time. Please focus on helping us build a defense. This is a very important part of the case and happens immediately after an arrest.
You have actual defenses to avoid criminal liability. The only thing you have to do is tell your truthful version of what happened before, during and after the alleged arson. A defense is vital because it allows you to fight the arson charge. Below are some common defenses to arson in the second degree:
You did not help another person commit arson. If you are not accused of actually creating the fire, you may be able to use this defense. You claim that you did not help anyone do anything. You have to prove that you are innocent.
The fire was caused by an accident. This is another type of lack of intent defense. You claim that you did start the fire. So you admit to the crime, but you do it for a reason. You claim that it was a mistake. You did not mean to do it.
Lack of intent to burn anything. You have to have the requisite intent to commit arson. If you made a mistake or the burning just occurred, you cannot be charged with arson.
The actual innocence defense is that you did not commit the crime at all. You may not an alibi, but you have another way to prove that you are innocent of arson. You have a reason why you did not commit the crime.
Mistaken identity is another defense. You are not guilty because someone else caused the fire. You did not set fire and you did not aid the one who did it. Someone else committed the crime, but you are being blamed for it.
You have an alibi for the time and date the arson happened. This means you could not be accused or convicted of burning any property.
Insufficient evidence is different than lack of evidence. Insufficient evidence means the state does not have the proper evidence to convict you or crime. This is another way to get the arson charges dropped against you.
Lack of evidence is the type of defense that makes the state show their evidence. You claim they do not have the evidence to take the case to the arson court. You challenge the evidence and tell them they have no evidence. If they do not, they make drop the charges. It really depends on how weak their evidence is against you.
If you do not think any of the listed defenses will help you, do not worry. Not all defenses may not fit every case. More defenses are available. The defense you choose will be adapted to the facts of the case and your version of events.
You have the right to prove your case. It is important that you choose a defense that is tough and a legal defense that is even tougher. Contact the skilled attorneys at Yeargan & Kert, LLC immediately.