Hire a Lawyer for Your Federal Arson Charges
If you are looking to learn more about arson charges and federal arson charges related to explosives, and particularly if you need a defense lawyer for your case, the Zoukis Consulting Group can help.
In this article, we will cover the details of what arson crimes mean and what to do when facing these charges.
And remember that we can help. Call the Zoukis Consulting Group today for an initial consultation.
Understanding Arson and Explosives
Different states have different technical definitions of what explosives are, but in general, an explosive is any device or material that causes fast and loud expansion and noise and is capable of destruction. Examples of explosives include dynamite, bombs, and fireworks.
Not all explosives are illegal (for example, fireworks), but using them in a way to cause damage to someone’s property is. Committing arson with explosives means that the party charged with this crime intentionally used an explosive device or material to harm property.
Arson is the intentional and usually malicious burning of a building, property, or dwelling. You can only receive an arson charge if the prosecution can prove that you intended to cause property damage.
You do not necessarily have to follow through with using explosives or setting fire to damage property to receive a federal arson charge. If you get caught with explosives on your person, and prosecutors can prove that you intended to cause property damage, you can get charged with arson.
There are different criteria that an event must meet to classify as arson or arson by the use of explosives. If a party uses any explosives or fire to commit or attempt to commit any of the following acts, he or she can be charged with arson:
- Cause intentional and substantial damage to a person other than the party involved
- Destroy or attempt to destroy any property that the defendant doesn’t own
- Endangering a dwelling or other personal property not belonging to the defendant
- Inhibiting or attempting to inhibit the use of maritime navigation
Arson crimes are heinous enough on their own, but the use of explosives adds a much more violent and aggressive layer to the crime. Arson using explosives not only destroys property, but it can also destroy people’s lives and puts more people at risk.
What are the Punishments for Arson and Explosive Crimes?
Arson and explosives are federal crimes that are punishable by prison time. Arson and property damage by use of explosives are federal weapons offenses and Class D felonies.
The following statute defines arson and property damage by use of explosives:
- §2K1.4. Arson; Property Damage by Use of Explosives: intentionally using explosives and explosive devices to harm someone and/or their property
The punishment for arson depends on the severity of the crime. When classified as a state crime, there are minor arson charges that classify as class A misdemeanors in which you will spend a year or less in jail if found guilty.
But usually, if found guilty of federal arson, you can expect to serve at least 3 years in prison but no more than 20 years. You can also expect to pay fines up to $25,000.
If someone gets injured in the act, your sentence can be as much as 40 years. Depending on the state, if a person gets killed in the act, you could receive up to life in prison or potentially the death penalty.
Using explosives to commit arson intensifies the violence of the act and increases the risk of injuring or killing another party. Therefore, the punishment is more severe than a standard arson charge.
If convicted of federal arson by the use of explosives, you will receive a sentence of no less than 5 years and no more than 20 years in prison if no one gets injured. If someone gets injured or killed in the act, you can receive up to life in prison or the death penalty in some states.
Call Us if You’re Charged with Arson or Explosives-Related Arson
While you could use a regular defense attorney if facing arson or explosives charges, it’s best to find the best-quality defense attorney possible. That’s where arson lawyers come in.
If you or a loved one is facing arson and/or explosives-related charges, your first step should be to contact an arson attorney as soon as possible to set up a consultation.
The lawyers on our legal team at the Zoukis Consulting Group are highly educated on arson and explosives and will work to assist you throughout the trial and sentencing process.
Call us today to schedule a consultation on your case. We will defend your rights and ensure you get the best possible outcome.
Published Feb 15, 2022 by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA | Last Updated by Christopher Zoukis, JD, MBA on May 11, 2023 at 6:06 pm