Maryland Arson Charges Put Your Future and Freedom on the Line. An Experienced Defense Attorney Can Make The Difference.
Facing an arson charge requires a professional attorney that knows the ins and outs of arson cases in Baltimore, MD. Read below to understand what your arson charge entails, and contact me to begin putting together the best defense for your case.
What is First-Degree Arson?
First-degree arson is a felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. First-degree arson is the burning of a dwelling or other occupied structure. Dwelling is generally understood to mean any building that has been used for sleeping overnight. The meaning of structure, that must be occupied to fall within the ambit of First-degree arson, is more expansive. The structure definition includes a vehicle, boat, or tent.
What is Second-Degree Arson?
First-degree arson punishes the burning of a dwelling, and a non-dwelling structure, only where that structure is occupied. Second-degree arson punishes the burning of any structure, whether or not occupied. Either degree of arson requires proof of malice, which requires showing the fire was intentionally set, and evidencing a disregard for the safety of others.
What is a Threat of Arson?
Maryland’s arson laws also pertain to other less serious crimes, including the threat of arson. Any verbal or written threat to explode, burn, or set fire to a structure is a misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 10 years.
If you have been charged with or are currently under investigation for arson, or lesser offenses like malicious burning, it’s imperative to seek the assistance of qualified counsel quickly. I’ve handled hundreds of criminal prosecutions over the years. Contact me today to schedule a free discussion, analysis, and legal opinion on your case.