Arson is a criminal offense in Weld County, Colorado that involves knowingly, recklessly, or intentionally setting fire to property. If the fire damages or destroys another's property without their consent, impactful criminal charges can result. Just last month, a Colorado man allegedly set fire to an apartment complex and faces several charges including arson and attempted murder. Charges surrounding setting fire to property requires immediate help from an experienced arson defense lawyer.
Colorado's Arson Laws
Four degrees of arson in Weld County exist under Colorado law. There are several factors that determine which degree of arson applies, including:
- what type of property was damaged or destroyed,
- who the property belonged to,
- whether the fire began intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly,
- and the value of property damage
Arson is a misdemeanor offense in Greeley and Windsor if someone burns property that is not a building or occupied structure, there isn't fraudulent intent, the total damage is less than $100, and no one is endangered.
However, arson is a felony offense when the property is a building or occupied structure, the intent was to defraud someone, or the fire was started intentionally or knowingly.
Penalties for Arson Conviction in Weld County
Punishment for arson in Greeley, Fort Lupton, and Windsor depends on the degree of arson and the type / value of property. On the lower end of the spectrum, misdemeanor arson conviction can result in:
- up to 12 months in county jail,
- fines of $50 – $1,000
However, felony arson often applies due to the type of property, damage value, and intent. As a class 4 felony, conviction in these cases may include:
- 2 – 6 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections,
- fines of up to $500,000,
- 3 years of parole
Additionally, many arson cases also involve a court order to pay restitution to the victim.
Weld County Arson Defense Lawyer
Arson laws are particularly complex in Colorado and are full of several variations that quickly amplify the charges. Contacting an experienced arson defense lawyer early on is especially crucial. Perhaps the fire or explosion in your case was accidental, didn't damage a dwelling, or didn't endanger anyone. Nonetheless, contact our office right away for a free initial consultation.
We will thoroughly analyze your arson case, as well as suggest next steps in forming a strong defense on your behalf. We offer same-day jail visits, affordable fees, and also flexible payment plans for those facing accusations in Weld County and throughout Colorado.
So, if you or someone you know is facing arson charges is Colorado, be smart. Contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at O'Malley and Sawyer, LLC at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.
Photo by Talal Ahmad