In 2014, Utah reported 223 arson incidents that year. While the frequency of this property crime is minimal in comparison with violent crimes, arson is still a serious offense. Although arson is a crime against property and not persons, the fallout of this crime is still damaging.
Victims of arson are left with the task to rebuild their lives after this type of offense. If you or a family member is accused of arson, you are at risk of jail time, fines, and permanent damage to your reputation. An accomplished attorney will work for you to reduce these risks.
Salt Lake City Arson Defense Attorney
For over 30 years, Susanne Gustin has been defending clients aggressively in a court of law. Throughout her career, she has successfully defended a multitude of clients against property crimes, violent crimes, and sexually motivated crimes.
Having a lawyer as experienced as Susanne Gustin on your side during these times is crucial to beating these charges. If you have been accused of arson and live in the Salt Lake Count or Davis County area, call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 to get started with a free consultation.
Arson Crimes Information Center
Utah Code finds a person guilty of arson when he or she, by means of fire or explosives, unlawfully and intentionally damages any property to defraud an insurer, or damages the property of another.
Although most people are under the impression that arson is a minor offense, Utah takes this crime seriously. Depending on the surrounding circumstances of the act, arson can be punishable as a felony or a misdemeanor.
- Second-degree felony– arson is considered a second-degree felony punishable by a max of 15 years imprisonment and/or $10,000 fees. The requirements include the following:
- Damages exceed $5,000;
- Any non-participant suffers serious bodily injury; or
- The actor was previously convicted of a violation involving aggravated arson within 10 years of the new violation, and the damage is between $1,500 and $5,000.
- Third-degree felony– this category carries a less severe sentence than second degree; however, the penalties must match the details of the case including the following:
- Damage is between $1,500 and $5,000;
- A non-participant suffers substantial bodily injury as a result of the arson;
- The fire or explosion endangers human life; or
- Damage is between $500 and $1,500 and at the time of the offense, the actor was previously convicted of aggravated arson within 10 years of the current charge.
- Class A misdemeanor– this category requires the following:
- Damage exceeds $500 but not more than $1,500; or
- Is less than $500; and
- At the time of the offense, the actor was previously convicted of aggravated arson within 10 years of the current act.
- Class B misdemeanor- this requires the following damages:
- Damages is between $500 and $1,500; or
- Damages are less than $500; and
- Actor was previously convicted of aggravated arson not more than 10 years before the current arson act; or
- Damage to another’s personal property is less than $500.
An arson charge can be upgraded to aggravated arson, if by means of fire or explosives, an actor intentionally and unlawfully damages a habitable structure; or any structure or vehicle when a non-participant is in the structure.
When an arson charge is increased to aggravated arson, the charges become far more severe. Aggravated arson is a first-degree felony punishable by a sentence of five years to life imprisonment and/or $10,000 in related fees.
U.S. Fire Administration– This is a federal organization for arson prevention and serial arson awareness.
National Fire Protection Association– This site offers a national resource of information on fire safety, arson statistics, and arson prevention.
Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law Salt Lake County Arson Defense Attorney
Property crimes such as arson can be relentless on a person’s record. Fighting these types of scarring allegations require a tough defense attorney unafraid of a challenge. Call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 today for your free consultation.
Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law services Salt Lake City, Davis County, West Valley City, Layton, West Jordan, Bountiful, and surrounding areas.