Arson in Wilmington, NC
Arson is the intentional act of setting fire to an object, building, or property. If anyone commits arson, it can be committed for various reasons. These range from covering up a crime to attempting to cause violence or mischief. Since arson involves the use of fire, it is a serious crime that is punished quite severely. A Wilmington criminal defense attorney can help you with your case.
In North Carolina law, arson is a serious felony crime. It’s defined by North Carolina law is a “malicious and voluntary or willful burning of another’s house or dwelling.” This crime is categorized by two degrees.
A First Degree arson is defined as the burning of an occupied home. This is a Class D felony, and can be charged by three to five years of incarceration for a first time conviction.
Second Degree arson, on the other hand, is the burning of a dwelling that is unoccupied. This is a Class G felony punishable by 8 months to a year and a half in prison.
There is an arson related crime, which is the burning of personal property, which is a Class H felony. This counts for burning of property that belongs to you or another person. A Class H felony carries a potential sentence of 4 to 8 months imprisonment for a first time conviction.
It is important to take note that these degrees and the arson-related crime carry those potential charges for a first time conviction. This is if you have no prior criminal record. If you have a criminal record, the punishment might be actually more severe.
Unfortunately, property damages caused by arson are committed in anger. Sometimes, accidents can even look like an intentional act. These things can factor heavily into the outcome of your case. A Wilmington criminal defense attorney can help ensure that the judge and jury understand the unique circumstances surrounding an arson charge.
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If you ever find yourself in this situation, it is always best to be aware of the laws of the land. It is always helpful to remember that North Carolina may have laws separate from other states, and it is wise to be familiar with some of these changes. It may be able to help you, your friends, and even your family.
Feel free to contact a Wilmington criminal defense attorney or any of our offices for a consultation. Remember, it’s always best to at least be familiar with the law, or at least have a legal expert to help you understand them.