Charged with Arson
Arson is a crime in which a person deliberately causes damage to a building or other structure by setting it on fire or creating an explosion. Because fires often lead to significant damage, serious injuries, and loss of life, prosecutors pursue these cases zealously.
If you have been charged with arson, you already know there is a stigma attached to these crimes. Don’t wait to call a lawyer.
Indiana Arson Law
In Indiana, a person can be found guilty of arson if he knowingly or intentionally damages a dwelling by means of fire, explosives, or a destructive device. In other words, you can’t be convicted of arson if you set a fire by accident.
Arson is punishable as a felony, the seriousness of which depends on how much property is damaged, whether someone gets hurt in the fire, and whether anyone is killed due to the arson.
Arson as Insurance Fraud
In some situations, a person burns down their home or place of business to collect money from an insurance policy. This can make an arson case even more complicated, as the individual may also face charges for fraud, mischief, or other offenses.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, intentional fires occur with somewhat regular frequency. In a recent four-year span, for example, fire departments throughout the U.S. reported responding to 282,600 intentional fires. These fires led to 420 civilian fatalities, 1,360 injuries, and an overwhelming $1.3 billion in direct property damage. With such compelling numbers, it is easy to see why prosecutors take these cases so seriously.
Wrongly Accused of Arson
Being accused of arson can cause irrevocable damage to a person’s reputation. Unfortunately, insurance companies are sometimes quick to jump to conclusions when a homeowner or business owner experiences loss due to a fire. If you have lost your home or your business to fire, it is devastating to be accused of arson on top of it.
A recent story out of New York shows how a false arson charge can cause irreparable damage to an individual’s life. In 2015, three men were exonerated for the crime of setting an apartment fire that took the lives of a mother and her five children. The alleged crime took place in 1980, which meant the men served more than 30 years in prison. The only witness to the crime was a drug dealer who was later discredited. Tragically, one man died in prison.
If you have been falsely charged with arson, you are likely feeling a strong mix of emotions that include anger and helplessness. But you are not helpless. There is help for your case. Call Razumich Law, P.C. today at (317) 983-5333 for a free consultation.
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