Arson or the willful and unlawful destruction of property by fire or explosion is a serious offense in Florida. Arson threatens the safety of individuals in the vicinity of the fire or explosion and also causes millions of dollars worth of damage each year.
Depending on the facts of the case, including the type of structure damaged, whether the arson was committed during the commission of a felony, and several other factors, an individual accused of arson may face felony charges and extensive jail time.
If you have been charged with arson in South Florida, it is imperative to consult an experienced arson defense attorney immediately.Miami Arson Defense Attorney
Evan Hoffman of The Hoffman Firm is a skilled criminal defense attorney with years of experience defending individuals charged with arson, criminal mischief, robbery, burglary, larceny, and other property crimes.
Arson charges are seriously prosecuted in Miami-Dade County and throughout Florida. It is imperative to seek skilled, competent legal counsel from the very beginning. An arson conviction can result in years in prison and steep fines.
Trust your case with a trial proven, honest criminal defense attorney. Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation. The Hoffman Firm defends individuals throughout Miami, North Miami, Miami Gardens, Hialeah, and surrounding cities in Miami-Dade County.
Under Florida law, arson is divided into two degrees.
In order to be convicted of first-degree arson the prosecution must prove the following beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The defendant willfully and unlawfully by fire or explosion caused damage to a dwelling (inhabited or not inhabited);
- The defendant willfully and unlawfully by fire or explosion caused damage to any other structure he or she had reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being; or
- The defendant willfully and unlawfully by fire or explosion caused damage to any structure where persons are normally present.
Under Florida law, these structures include a variety of places, including the following:
- Detention centers
- Nursing homes
- Other healthcare facilities
Department stores, business establishments, churches, or education institutions that are operating at normal business hours are also considered structures under the first-degree arson statute.
Lastly, an individual also may be charged with first-degree arson if he or she commits the aforementioned damage by fire or explosion during the commission of any felony. It is not necessary that the individual intends or cause the damage willfully if the arson is committed during the commission of a felony
Second-degree arson is considered a lesser offense than first-degree arson.
An individual may be charged with second-degree arson if he or she 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 the first-degree arson statute.
First-Degree arson is considered a first-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Second-Degree arson is considered a second-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
If you have been charged with arson and are looking for an attorney with years of experience, Miami criminal defense attorney, Evan A. Hoffman of The Hoffman Firm is a trial proven criminal defense attorney for your legal defense.
Contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 249-0090 or submit an online form to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your case and legal options. The Hoffman Firm represents clients charged with arson, criminal mischief, burglary, robbery, larceny, and other property crimes throughout Miami-Dade County.