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Englewood Arson Defense Attorneys

Facing Arson Charges and Need a Lawyer? Call Us

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Arson

A person commits arson when he or she intentionally sets fire to a building or property. In some cases, individuals will commit arson to collect insurance money or will be paid to set fire on another person’s behalf. If you are charged with arson in New Jersey, you could be facing up to 15 years in state prison, in addition to other penalties discussed below.

The criminal defense lawyers at the Tormey Law Firm have successfully defended thousands of clients charged with serious criminal offenses, including arson, trespassing, and criminal mischief throughout New Jersey, including in Paramus, Hackensack, and Fort Lee. Mr. Tormey and his team have utilized their extensive experience in the courtroom to develop advanced defense strategies for defending clients who are faced with these charges. To view just some of their positive results, access these success stories.

Call the Hackensack, New Jersey offices of The Tormey Law Firm today at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation, and feel free to continue reading this page for additional information about arson charges in New Jersey.

New Jersey Arson Charges: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1

In New Jersey, arson and aggravated arson are criminalized under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, which provides in pertinent part:

a. A person is guilty of aggravated arson if he starts a fire or causes an explosion, whether on his own property or another’s:

(1) Thereby purposely or knowingly placing a person in danger of death or bodily injury; or

(2) With the purpose of destroying a building or structure; or

(3) With the purpose of collecting insurance for the damage to such property; or

(4) With the purpose of exempting the structure from zoning or building laws; or

(5) With the purpose of destroying or damaging any forest.

b. Arson. A person is guilty of arson if he purposely starts a fire or causes an explosion:

(1) Thereby recklessly placing another person in danger of death or bodily injury; or

(2) Thereby recklessly placing a building or structure in danger of damage; or

(3) With the purpose of collecting insurance for the damage to such property; or

(4) With the purpose of exempting the structure from zoning or building laws; or

(5) Thereby recklessly placing a forest in danger of damage or destruction.

c. Failure to control or report dangerous fire. A person who knows that a fire is endangering life or a substantial amount of property and either fails to take reasonable measures to put out the fire or to give prompt fire alarm, commits a crime if:

(1) He knows that he is under an official or other legal duty to prevent or combat the fire; or

(2) The fire was started, albeit lawfully, by him or with his assent.

d. Any person who pays or accepts money for the purpose of starting a fire commits a crime.

Penalties for Arson and Aggravated Arson in New Jersey

As the above statute indicates, the penalties for arson vary, depending on the circumstances surrounding the fire.

First Degree Arson: First degree arson applies to a person who is hired to start a fire. This charge is punishable by 15 years in prison, a term of incarceration which must be served in its entirety without the possibility of parole.

Second Degree Arson (Aggravated Arson): Aggravated arson is a second degree charge which applies when a person purposefully or knowingly starts a fire that places other people in danger of death or bodily injury. This charge is punishable by five (5) to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison. Additionally, aggravated arson is an enumerated crime under the No Early Release Act (NERA). If the NERA applies to your conviction, you MUST serve no less than 85% of your sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Third Degree Arson: Arson is typically classified as a third degree felony level offense. This is the charge when a person starts a fire that recklessly endangers another person or a building. If a person is convicted of third degree arson, he or she faces a term of imprisonment ranging from three (3) to five (5) years in New Jersey State Prison.

Notably, if you have no prior record, there is a presumption of non-incarceration associated with third degree crimes according to New Jersey Law. Additionally, our attorneys may be able to facilitate your enrollment in a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) which, upon successful completion, will result in the dismissal of the charges against you.

Contact the Hackensack Law Offices of The Tormey Law Firm for a Free Consultation

If you’ve been charged with arson in New Jersey, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm have the knowledge and skills necessary to successfully defend you against arson allegations. Contact us today at (201)-330-4979 for a free consultation or to schedule an appointment at our centrally-located Hackensack office.

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