Setting things on fire isn’t something that is good to do unless you are having a bonfire or lighting a fireplace or barbecue pit. Setting things, such as building or forests, on fire with a malicious intent or to commit fraud is a criminal act known as arson. This is usually a felony charge because it can lead to death, injury and destruction of personal property.
The factors that are present at the time of the arson can have an impact on the charges and the penalties a person faces. For example, an occupied building that is set ablaze might mean harsher penalties than an empty barn in the middle of nowhere being set on fire. The purpose of the arson is also taken into consideration.
It is possible that a person would burn down their own property in an effort to collect insurance money. In this case, they will commit the criminal act of arson and the criminal act of insurance fraud. It is important to note that a person would usually have to cash in on the insurance policy in order to be charged with insurance fraud.
Oftentimes, the evidence in arson cases is very strong. Elite law enforcement teams use specialized methods to determine what started the fire and where. These teams can work months, or even years, to come to these determinations.
It isn’t impossible to fight against arson charges, but it can be difficult. If you are facing an arson charge, you must be sure that you know what evidence is being used against you so that you can decide how you are going to fight back against the charges.
Source: FindLaw, “Arson,” accessed Sep. 29, 2016