Are you accused of arson? This is an extremely serious felony that can result in a long prison term if convicted. At my firm, the Law Offices of Ryan E. Gilbert, I act fast on behalf of my clients facing charges of arson throughout Freehold, East Brunswick & Middlesex County. If it is believed by law enforcement and the prosecutor that you were involved in a case of arson, I urge you to get in touch with my firm immediately. Your defense and investigation must start right away.
Schedule an initial consultation with my firm when you call (866) 760-6430.
Facts About Arson
There is a great deal of attention on whether arson was involved when any structure burns. Experts comb through the site searching for any evidence that a fire was set by an accelerant or in a certain area of the structure that is suspicious and could indicate that a person was involved in setting the fire. In fact, over 17% of structure fires are listed as suspicious. The National Fire Protection Agency reports that there is a link to drug crimes in the increasing number of structure fires throughout the state, and it is reported by the same agency that it is believed that 20% of current fires in major metropolitan areas are related to drug crimes.
Penalties for Arson in New Jersey
Arson is a felony and the ramifications of a conviction are extensive.
The penalties imposed will vary, based upon:
- Degree of the damage to the structure
- Whether any person was injured or killed
- Whether other criminal activities contributed to the fire
The New Jersey No Early Release Act (NERA) requires that a court imposing a sentence for incarceration for arson in first and second degree crimes, or for any attempt or conspiracy to commit aggravated arson will be forced to serve 85% of the sentence imposed by the court. Aggravated arson charges are filed when a person starts a fire on their own property, or the property of another, and purposefully or knowingly puts another person in danger of death or bodily injury.
This could be filed as a first degree felony or a second degree felony with penalties of:
- Up to 20 years in prison
- Fines of $200,000
Convicts will receive both for a first degree. Second degree arson is punishable by imprisonment of up to 10 years in a state correctional facility, and fines of up to $150,000 or both. Charges of first degree arson can be filed when a person accepts pay or any form of consideration in exchange for starting the fire. There are three elements that must be proven by the prosecutor, beyond a reasonable doubt, for a person accused of arson to be convicted. It is extremely critical that you get your case evaluated on an immediate basis if you are being investigated for arson, or have already been charged, no matter what degree of crime.
The penalties are extensive, and your life will truly take a drastic turn if you are unable to successfully defend against the charges of arson filed against you. I am committed to assisting my clients to pursue a favorable outcome at each phase of the justice process.
Juveniles & Charges of Arson
Some cases involve young people who were experimenting with fire. The consequences to their future opportunities and freedom can be significant. Whether your child is accused of committing arson, or you are facing charges yourself, it is extremely important that you engage the services of a criminal law firm that has experience and insight into the criminal justice system, trial law, and can craft a strategy for your defense that could be successful, both in negotiating with the prosecutor and at trial.
Contact an East Brunswick arson defense lawyer immediately to retain the services of a legal professional that can help you.
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