Sometimes, creepy crawlies like spiders, cockroaches, and earwigs cause us to do irrational things. Whether it's trapping a spider under a glass for your boyfriend to kill later, or running screaming out of a room because you spotted a cockroach, bugs usually make us irrational. But, in some severe cases, they could get you charged with a crime in Denver, Arapahoe, or Jefferson County. Don't believe me? I read an article recently about a man who set his home on fire. “Why would he do such a thing?” you might ask. Apparently, he was trying cleanse his home of bedbugs, and started a fire in the process. If this had occurred in Colorado, the man could face Arson charges.
Banishing Bedbugs = Almost Burning Home Down
Image Credit: Pixabay – Hans
According to the article, a homeowner was trying to kill bed bugs which were infesting his house. Apparently, he was using a hair dryer, space heater, and a heat gun to kill the little bugs. Unfortunately, the man didn't realize just how dangerous those heat guns can be – they're typically used to strip paint off of woodwork, and can reach an average temperature of 1,000 degrees. So, while he may have killed any bedbugs in his home, he also started his second floor on fire. Firefighters soon arrived and quickly put out the blaze. All appeared to be fine, until later that day when the fire rekindled. The firefighters returned and put out the fire for a second time. During the process, the homeowner and four firefighters were injured. That's a lot of trouble for a few bedbugs.
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Arson in CO: How it is Charged in Colorado
There are four different degrees of Arson in Douglas, Adams, and El Paso County. They range from a class 3 misdemeanor up to a class 3 felony, depending on the circumstances of the fire.
- First Degree Arson: Charged when a person knowingly burns a building or occupied structure.
- Second Degree Arson: Charged when a person burns any property of another other than a building or occupied structure.
- Third Degree Arson: Charged when a person burns to intentionally damage any property with intent to defraud.
- Fourth Degree Arson: Charged when a person knowingly or recklessly starts a fire on someone else's property or his own, and places another person in danger of serious bodily injury or damage to a structure.
In the case of the man fending off the bedbugs, we believe he could be charged with 4th Degree Arson. The definition for this offense is:
“A person who knowingly or recklessly starts or maintains a fire…on his own property or that of another, and by doing so places another in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage commits fourth degree arson.”
So, because the man recklessly started a fire which put other people in danger of death or serious bodily injury (four firefighters were injured), and other structures most likely were in danger, he could very easily be charged with Fourth Degree Arson.We all act irrationally at times – don't let a mistake have a negative impact on your future.
Why You Need a Lawyer for Arson Charges
We all act irrationally at times. We've all done stupid things while reacting to a creepy crawly in our house. While most of us haven't set fire to our homes in an effort to rid it of bedbugs, we all can relate to this man. People are charged with crimes all the time after a lapse of judgment. We all make mistakes. Don't let a mistake harm your future. If you've been charged with a crime like Arson, don't hesitate to contact one of our affordable, hardworking criminal defense lawyers to represent you in court. Here at the O'Malley Law Office, we fight to win.
Get Help Now
If you or a loved one has been charged with Arson, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the O'Malley Law Office for a free consultation at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation
Image Credit: Pixabay – Ben_Kerckx