Criminal Defense

Tucson Arson Defense Attorney

Arson is a very serious crime which involves maliciously setting fire to a structure, property, or area of wild land. Those charged often had a motive to destroy the property which could range from seeking revenge to an attempt to collect insurance compensation for a fire-damaged home. Fire investigators and law enforcement thoroughly investigate arson and related reckless burning charges, and you could be subject to lengthy incarceration. The serious nature of these felony charges makes it imperative to contact a Tucson arson defense attorney as soon as possible to assemble your defense.

The Law Office of Carlos A. Medina, PLLC provides aggressive criminal defense for those charged with property crimes such as arson. Call (520) 251-9561 to set up your free case evaluation today.

Unintentional Versus Intentional Fires

Your criminal defense attorney might be able to make the argument that you set a fire unintentionally if you have been charged with an arson offense. Reckless burning is such a charge. It may involve a person who tossed a cigarette butt while out on a hike in one of Arizona’s beautiful wildlands and accidentally starting a fire. This is still illegal, however, and will be criminally prosecuted. Starting an accidental fire is called reckless burning, and it is a misdemeanor. If the person who set the fire had no criminal record, a skilled criminal defense attorney in Tucson may be able to reduce your charges or see that you only get probation in a plea agreement.

Setting a fire intentionally, however, is a felony charge, and Arizona has harsh penalties for arson charges. The circumstances of your arson charge can increase or decrease the associated penalties, too. For example, it is a much more heinous crime to set fire to an occupied building when people are sleeping than to set fire to an abandoned building.

Criminal Penalties for Arson Charges

Penalties vary based on the value of the property a person is convicted of burning, their intent, and other circumstances, such as your criminal record being taken into account. The most severe penalties are reserved for arson of a structure, which is a class 4 felony punishable by a minimum prison term of 18 months, plus hefty fines, and restitution (if applicable). If the structure you burned was occupied, penalties are enhanced, per Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1704. This class 2 felony carries a minimum prison term of 4 years.

How Is Arson Proven?

It is a mistake to think that burning property, a structure, or wildlands cannot be proven. Evidence, including fingerprints and DNA, is not always lost through fire damage. In fact, fire investigators can prove arson with their in-depth knowledge about fire accelerants, fire behavior, and more. They can find the source of the blaze, and this alone can be very telling and can show if the fire was set intentionally or not. Fire investigators will ask the firefighters who first responded to the scene to describe details such as the color of the smoke from the fire, if any sprinkler systems were damaged, the condition of the doors and windows, and any strange behavior of the flames.

Common signs of arson include:

  • Multiple point of origin
  • Lack of accidental causes
  • Evidence of forced entry
  • Absence of valuable items left behind
  • Presence of fire accelerants
  • Unusual smoke color
  • Damaged sprinkler systems
  • Environmental modifications, such as windows propped open

Law enforcement will also look to prove a motive, such as whether the arson was committed to conceal an additional crime, or if you recently increased your property insurance coverage and might have set the fire to collect from an insurance claim.

Facing Arson Charges? Contact a Tucson Criminal Defense Attorney

The Law Office of Carlos A. Medina, PLLC believe you are innocent until proven guilty. As a skilled criminal defense attorney, Carlos A. Medina provides aggressive defense to protect your legal rights, even if he has to battle your case out in a court trial.

Don’t handle your criminal arson case alone. Hire the Law Office of Carlos A. Medina for help navigating the criminal just system by calling (520) 251-9561 today to set up a free case evaluation.

On Another Level When It Comes to Defense

What Sets The Law Office of Carlos A. Medina, PLLC Apart?
  • Available 24/7

    Our clients have easy access to Attorney Carlos Medina, especially when they need him.

  • Se Habla Español

    Our firm is bilingual-friendly. We welcome cases from Spanish-speaking clients.

  • Reasonable Fees

    All clients have different financial circumstances, and we are accommodating of that.

  • In-Person Consultations

    A free and confidential evaluation will be provided before we decide to take your case.