Depending on what type of property was damaged, who it belonged to, the value of said property, and if the fire was set intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly, all factor into the degree in which someone is charged with arson.
The elements of the crime of first degree arson are:
First degree arson in the state of Colorado is a class 3 felony and the penalties for such are hefty fines of $3,000-$750,000 and jail time of 4-12 years, or 10-32 years if explosives were used, resulting in the charge being classified as a crime of violence.
When facing such serious charges, you need someone who is serious about your case. Chris Ponce will review your case and identify whether an eyewitness is untrustworthy or if the whole situation was an accident. Regardless, you can trust that he will help you get the best possible outcome.
First degree arson covers buildings and structures burned by fire, whereas second degree arson covers all other types of property that were knowingly damaged by fire. Depending on the value of the property that was damaged, second degree arson can either be a class 4 felony or a class 2 misdemeanor. A class 4 felony can carry penalties of 2-6 years in prison as well as up to $5,000 in fines. As a class 2 misdemeanor you’ll face 3-12 months in prison and fines up to $1,000.
The elements of the crime of second degree arson are:
Third degree arson is when someone intentionally causes a fire and damages property in order to commit fraud. A common example is when someone stages a fire in their home in an effort to claim insurance money. This type of arson is considered a class 4 felony in the state of Colorado and can incur penalties of 2-6 years in prison and up to $500,000.
The elements of the crime of third degree arson are:
If you start and maintain a fire or cause an explosion and as a result of it someone died or was seriously injured, or a building or occupied structure was placed in danger or damaged, this would be fourth degree arson. If someone was seriously injured in the event, fourth degree arson is considered a class 4 felony. And depending on the value of the property damaged, it can either be constituted a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor.
The elements of the crime of fourth degree arson are:
Colorado’s beautiful forests have a history of being ravaged by forest fires. Homes and lives of civilians and fire fighters alike have been lost. Some of these fires are a result of a perfect storm of natural elements, but other times they are a result of the reckless behavior of citizens. It's no wonder that the state of Colorado deals aggressively with cases of arson. That’s why it’s all the more important that you have an experienced legal team at your side when facing first, second, third, or fourth degree arson charges. Call Chris Ponce for help today!