In the most general terms, arson means that someone has destroyed personal property or land, with or without a building on it, by intentionally causing a fire or explosion. More specific definitions of the crime are used to explain the increasing degrees of seriousness of the offense. If you have been charged with Second Degree Arson, that means the actions you’re accused of committing are worse than Third Degree levels and somewhat less severe than First Degree Arson crimes.
If you are accused of Second Degree Arson in the state of Idaho, you may be facing a long prison sentence and massive fines upon conviction. You need to contact an experienced Boise, Idaho, arson defense lawyer as soon as possible to help you avoid a potentially long prison sentence and an enormous monetary fine.
Legal Definition of Second Degree Arson in Idaho
Under Idaho Code 18-803, Arson 2nd Degree is defined as illegally and willfully damaging a structure with intentions, actions, and a level of destruction that do not rise to the extreme of First Degree Arson but that exceed the definition of Third Degree Arson. This middle level of arson charge is usually assessed in cases in which the defendant may not necessarily have had a reason to think there was anyone in the targeted building.
Punishments for Second Degree Arson
The penalties for Second Degree Arson can include a prison sentence of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to $75,000. For perspective, the penalties for First Degree Arson: The penalties for First Degree Arson can include a prison sentence of up to 25 years and/or a fine of up to $100,000, whereas the sentence for Third Degree Arson can be up to 10 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000.
Aggravated Arson: (Idaho 18-805) This classification means that the crime resulted directly or indirectly in severe bodily injury or death of someone, regardless of the alleged intent or lack of intent to cause the harm. In cases of aggravated arson, the Second Degree Arson penalty can be enhanced to significantly more severe prison sentences, up to an additional 10 years.
What Happens in a Fire Investigation?
An arson investigator can be expected to examine every square inch of a burned property when a crime is suspected. Among the most valuable witnesses in an arson case are the first firefighters who responded to the emergency call to try to control and put out the fire.
The fire investigator will try to find out information such as the behavior of the flames, the color of the smoke, and many other obscure details. They look for the origination point of the fire and any physical evidence that they can document and use to reconstruct the event and confirm or dismiss arson as the cause of the fire.
Best Arson Defense in Idaho – Sawtooth Defense Lawyers
Being arrested for 2nd Degree Arson in Idaho means that your future is at extreme risk. With your freedom at stake, you need to obtain the best criminal defense lawyer Idaho can provide. For many years, Sawtooth Defense Lawyers have been helping people in Idaho get their charges reduced and avoid prison time and criminal conviction.