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Arson is considered the malicious burning of property, and if you have been arrested on arson charges, you may be facing severe penalties. Depending on the conditions of your case, you will be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony, and the severity of your case will determine the punishments associated with a conviction.
There are several different degrees of arson, including:
- First-degree arson (felony)
- Second-degree arson (felony)
- Third-degree arson (felony)
- Fourth-degree arson (felony)
- Fifth-degree arson (misdemeanor)
- Arson under $200 (misdemeanor)
- Arson of property valued between $200 and $1,000 (misdemeanor)
- Arson of an insured dwelling (felony)
- Carelessly setting fire to a hotel (misdemeanor)
Many factors are considered when the prosecutor decides how to charge an arson case. These things include the size and value of the burned property, whether or not the fire was set intentionally or with the intent to defraud an insurance company, and if the fire injured or killed anyone.
Conviction of arson frequently results in both fines and imprisonment. With your financial security and your freedom at stake, representing yourself is not advisable. A knowledgeable arson lawyer in Michigan with experience handling these cases, like those at The Law Offices of Barton Morris, can help you fight your charges with strength and confidence.