When a person damages another's property with fire or explosives in Aurora, Centennial, or Englewood, 2nd degree arson charges can follow. This particular crime applies to property other than buildings and occupied structures. The penalties for a conviction of second degree arson have recently changed and rely heavily on the value of property damaged. Ranging from a petty offense to a serious felony, defendants should speak with an experienced criminal lawyer before talking with police regarding arson accusations. Whether needing help with a case in Arapahoe, Douglas, or Elbert County, Sawyer Legal Group is here for the accused.
What Does 2nd Degree Arson Mean in Colorado?
Colorado's laws prohibit someone from damaging another's property via fire or explosion. CRS 18-4-103 defines second degree arson throughout Aurora, Centennial, and Englewood. Police will pursue charges if they believe you:
- knowingly set fire to, burned, caused to burn, or by use of an explosive,
- damaged or destroyed,
- any property of another (other than a building or occupied structure)
- without their consent
It is important to note that this degree of arson includes property other than a house, garage, trailer, mobile home, etc. If the property has changed in the fire in some way or was engulfed in flames it is considered damaged.
Changes to 2nd Degree Arson in 2022
The penalties for a second degree arson conviction changed quite a bit in 2022 throughout Colorado. Beginning March 1st, the damage threshold for felony 2nd degree arson increased from $100 or more to $2,000 or more. A second degree arson charge where the value of damage done is less than $2K (misdemeanor) can now lead to:
- up to 12 months in county jail,
- fines of up to $1,000
If the damage done amounts to between $2,000 and $4,999, a class 6 felony applies. Defendants charged with felony 2nd degree arson face a prison sentence, period of parole, and much higher fine amounts. The ramifications of a felony conviction go beyond these penalties as well, often significantly limiting employment opportunities, the ability to rent a residence, and obtain loans.
Arapahoe County Arson Lawyer
In a state and climate with the fire danger that Colorado endures, an arson allegation requires especially skilled representation from a top criminal lawyer. The prosecutor must show beyond a reasonable doubt that a defendant knowingly caused the fire or explosion. This may not be accurate in your unique situation and it's our job to show that in court. Contact Sawyer Legal Group today for a free, confidential consultation with our experienced arson attorneys. We offer same-day jail visits, affordable fees, and flexible payment plans for defendants in Aurora, Englewood, Cherry Creek State Park, Littleton, Centennial, Foxfield, and Parker.
Don't talk to law enforcement about arson charges - talk to us. 303-830-0880
Photo by Miriam Espacio
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