In Utah, you can be convicted of reckless burning or arson. Unfortunately, the offense carries serious penalties such as steep fines and imprisonment. Reckless burning occurs when someone:
- Recklessly starts a fire that endangers human life
- Causes an explosion that endangers human life
- Starts a fire that spreads and will endanger the life or property of another, or they fail to take reasonable measures to put out or control the fire
- Recklessly starts a fire that damages someone’s property
- Causes an explosion that damages someone’s property.
The classification of a misdemeanor depends on how the reckless burning occurred, which may result in Class A, Class B, or Class C misdemeanor.
Utah Reckless Burning Attorney
If you or someone you know has been charged with reckless burning, it’s within your best interest to contact Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law. Criminal defense attorney Susanne Gustin at Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law has been practicing criminal defense for years and has the knowledge needed to fight any type of property crime no matter the circumstances.
Get started on your defense and call Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law at (801) 243-2814 as soon as possible. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law accepts clients in Utah including Salt Lake County, Alta, Mount Olympus, Cottonwood West, East Millcreek, Herriman, East Layton, West Bountiful, Fruit Heights, Cottonwood Heights, West Valley City, West Jordan, Sandy, and South Jordan.
- What Are The Penalties For Reckless Burning?
- What Are The Defenses To Reckless Burning?
- Additional Resources
What Are The Penalties For Reckless Burning?
Class A Misdemeanor
It is a class A misdemeanor when someone causes a reckless burning by starting a fire or causing an explosion that endangers someone’s life. It is also a class A misdemeanor if a fire was started, regardless of if it was recklessly started or not, and the fire spread, endangering life or property, or the individual who started the fire failed to take reasonable measures to put out the fire.
Additionally, if the property damage exceeds $1,500 in value, it is likely that regardless of how the reckless burning occurred, it will result in a class A misdemeanor. A Class A misdemeanor may result in a fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail.
Class B Misdemeanor
It is a class B misdemeanor when someone builds a fire but fails to remove all flammable materials surrounding the site of the fire to ensure that it does not spread or escape the area. Additionally, if the property damage is more than $500 but less than $1,500, it is likely that regardless of how the reckless burning occurred, it will result in a class B misdemeanor. A Class B misdemeanor may result in a fine of up to $1,000 and a jail sentence of up to six months.
Class C Misdemeanor
It is a class C misdemeanor when someone damages another person’s property by recklessly using a fire or causing an explosion. A Class C misdemeanor may result in a fine of up to $750 and a jail sentence of up to 90 days.
What Are The Defenses To Reckless Burning?
When facing a reckless burning charge, the alleged offender must choose the correct attorney to protect their rights. An experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of the case and determine the best defense strategy, which may include:
- Mistaken Identity
- Lack of Evidence
- Lack of Vegetation
Mistaken identity is a defense in which the individual is not the person who committed the crime, even though an eyewitness may have indicated they were the individual who committed it. While it is not something that witnesses generally intend to do, they may mistake someone for the criminal because they look similar and cannot fully remember how the perpetrator looked.
Lack Of Evidence
If the prosecution attempts to convict someone without proper evidence, the case may be dismissed because of a lack of evidence. This means that the case may be dismissed if the prosecution does not have evidence that the defendant is the person who recklessly started the fire, that the fire unreasonably spread, or that there was property damage or human endangerment.
Utah Fire Info – This website provides more information on active wildfires and projects throughout Utah.
Utah Department of Environmental Quality – This website provides information on Utah’s regulations for residential open burning.
Utah Reckless Burning Lawyer | Salt Lake County, UT
If you have been arrested for reckless burning, reach out to Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law to receive quality legal representation. Criminal defense lawyer Susanne Gustin at Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law has been defending those accused of property crimes for years and has a track record of success. She can utilize her experience and knowledge for your case.
Call (801) 243-2814 to schedule a free consultation to discuss all of your legal options with Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law today. Susanne Gustin Attorney at Law accepts cases in Salt Lake County, UT, Weber County, Utah County, Wasatch County, Summit County, Morgan County, Davis County, Cache County, Tooele County, and Box Elder County.