The past few years have been tough for Colorado. As we enter a new forest fire season, we remember how wildfires have raged in Denver, Jefferson, and Douglas County each summer. El Paso County was hit especially hard – entire neighborhoods burned in Colorado Springs as we all watched, helplessly glued to our TV's. While law enforcement is loath to go into detail, it is commonly The 2002 Hayman fire was started by a forestry employee.held that many of the wildfires burning out of control in the past few years have been the result of Arson. While it is hard to believe that someone would cause such devastation on purpose, history shows us the true story: The 2002 Hayman fire was started by a forestry employee. And, the recent fires destroying homes in California were started by two teenagers. Whether wildfires are started on purpose out of malice, or whether they were the result of a careless match tossed out a window, it's important to understand the consequences if you are facing Arson charges. Let's look closer that this offense in Colorado:
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Arson Charges in Denver: What is Arson?
Arson is charged in Adams County, Colorado whenever a person sets fire to a structure, or property of another person. Basically, if you set fire to something that isn't yours and the fire does damage or puts a person and property at risk, you will face Arson charges. The seriousness of the crime depends on the circumstances.
What Is An Example of Fourth Degree Arson?
Phil decides to burn trash in his backyard in Castle Rock . His house isn't that close to the neighbors, and he really doesn't want to haul all that stuff to the junkyard. Unfortunately, the wind changes and his neighbor's house catches on fire. No one is home, but the house is damaged during the fire.
Because Phil recklessly started a fire (he didn't accurately judge the wind or distance to his neighbor's house) and he put his neighbor's home at risk, he could face 4th Degree Arson charges in Colorado. In this situation, Phil could face a class 2 or 3 misdemeanor which could result in up to 12 months in the Douglas County Jail. Even a misdemeanor conviction can have a negative impact on your life.
An Example of First Degree Arson
Jeannie is disgruntled. She was recently fired from her job on the ranch, and she wants revenge. One night, she sneaks out to her former boss' ranch in Morrison and sets fire to his barn. She doesn't take into account that the structure is filled with hay, so it burns to the ground quickly.
Because Jeannie knowingly set fire to the barn and it and it burned to the ground, she could face First Degree Arson charges in Jefferson County. 1st Degree Arson is a class 3 felony, which results in a possible conviction of up to 12 years in the Colorado Department of Corrections. Restitution for destroyed property also accompanies any criminal conviction in Colorado.Arson charges can result in serious consequences.
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Why You Need an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer for Arson Charges
Arson charges range anywhere from a few months in jail up to sixteen years in prison. The seriousness of your sentence depends on many differing circumstances. An experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to ascertain what charges (if any) you should be facing, and fight on your behalf in court. We know the District Attorneys throughout the Denver metro area: We know their tactics and can create a strong defense to protect your future.
Get Help Now
If you or a loved one are facing Arson charges in Denver, Aurora, or Littleton, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at O'Malley and Sawyer at 303-830-0880. Together, we can protect your future.Request a Free Consultation
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