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Orlando Criminal Defense Lawyer > Orlando Arson Lawyer

Orlando Arson Lawyer

The act of intentionally setting fire to property with the intention of damaging or destroying it is arson. Under Florida law, arson is a serious felony. This means that regardless of why a person set the fire, they potentially face decades in a state prison if convicted.

A qualified Orlando arson lawyer can represent you in any criminal investigation or legal proceeding arising from these kinds of charges. The Joshi Law Firm handles cases involving arson and other high-profile criminal matters throughout Central Florida. Our founding partner is a former State Attorney who understands how prosecutors think and operate. We can put that experience to work for you when you are staring down a possible felony conviction.

Arson Is a Major Felony in Florida

Even when a building or structure is not occupied by people, Florida law still classifies arson as a felony. Depending on the specific facts, prosecutors may charge arson of the first degree or second degree. First-degree arson requires proof that the structure damaged is:

  • a dwelling (residence), whether occupied or unoccupied at the time;
  • any structure where people are normally present, such as a hospital, store, or office building, provided the arson occurred during “normal hours of occupancy”; or
  • any other structure where the defendant knew–or had reasonable grounds to believe–that someone else was present.

Any arson that does not satisfy the requirements for first-degree arson is considered second-degree arson. The key legal difference between first- and second-degree arson is the potential scope of criminal punishment. Arson in the first degree is also a felony in the first degree. This carries a maximum prison term of 30 years as well as a fine of up to $10,000 if convicted. Arson in the second degree is a second-degree felony, which still provides for a maximum prison term of 15 years plus a fine of up to $10,000.

Given the severity of these penalties, it is important to work with an experienced Orlando arson attorney in exploring any possible defenses. For example, a defendant may be able to argue a lack of intent to damage the property–i.e., that the fire was the result of a mistake rather than a deliberate act. In some cases, your defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea down to a lesser charge, such as criminal mischief, which may only be a misdemeanor depending on the extent of the property damage.

Contact Our Orlando Arson Lawyers for Help

Arson may be a crime that usually targets only property. But you should never assume that means law enforcement and prosecutors take it less seriously than violent felonies that directly target individuals. An arson conviction can send you to prison for a good portion of your life. So it is in your best interest to work with a qualified Orlando arson lawyer who can look out for your interests and help obtain the best possible resolution for your case. Call the Joshi Law Firm, PA, at 844-GO-JOSHI today to schedule a free consultation.

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