Experienced Arson Lawyer Defending the Rights of Seattle Clients
Fires are ignited by arsonists for a variety of reasons. Some want insurance money. Others want revenge. Some people set an arson fire without even knowing why they do it. Nevertheless, arson cases are always considered serious crimes and are charged as felonies in the state of Washington. If you are arrested for an arson crime in the Seattle area, immediately retain the help of experienced Seattle arson attorney Kevin Trombold. With more than twenty years of criminal law experience, Kevin Trombold will investigate the arson charges against you, examine the evidence and witnesses, review the official arson investigation, and fight aggressively to bring your arson case to its best possible conclusion.
ATTORNEYS ANSWER “WHY IS ARSON A CRIME AGAINST PROPERTY?”
Before you understand the different degrees of arson, it’s important that you understand the basics of arson law.
When discussing arson law in Washington state, “building” means at least two units separately secured or occupied where each unit cannot be treated as its own building. “Damages” means any scorching, charring or other signs of fire damage. Damages can also include any loss in property value that is a result of the fire. Finally, “property of another” means property that does not belong solely to the defendant. Even if the defendant is a partial owner of the property, the property would still be considered “property of another” in the eyes of the law.
IF YOU’VE BEEN CHARGED, CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED ARSON ATTORNEY IN KING COUNTY
If you have been charged with arson in Seattle or the surrounding areas, you may be asking yourself “When should I hire an arson attorney?” Don’t hesitate to contact an experienced arson attorney at the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold. Our team of attorneys will begin working on your case to defend your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. The sooner that you contact our lawyers, the sooner we can begin investigating the circumstances of your case.
SEATTLE LAWYERS EXPLAIN WHAT COUNTS AS ARSON
Arson laws are violated when someone intentionally and deliberately damages a property or a structure by setting off a fire or explosion and causing some degree of destruction. Where is arson committed? Residences and businesses are the most common targets of arsonists, although any property can be “torched.” Arson in the state of Washington, and the lesser crime of reckless burning in the first degree, are felonies – meaning a prison sentence is likely upon conviction – while reckless burning in the second degree is a misdemeanor.
WHAT IS FELONY ARSON?
The prosecutor must prove certain elements of first degree arson exist. What is first degree arson? You may be found guilty of this crime if you knowingly:
- Cause a fire or explosion that puts a human life at risk or
- Cause a fire or explosion which causes damage to a dwelling or
- Starts a fire in a building that is occupied or
- Starts a fire which causes more than $10,000 in damage with the intent to collect insurance money
Many clients ask, “Is first degree arson a felony?” and the answer is yes. In fact, if you’re wondering “Is arson a misdemeanor or a felony?” you should know all degrees of arson are felonies in Washington. Arson in the first degree is a class A felony and may be punishable by a sentence of up to life in prison and a $50,000 fine.
You may be charged with arson in the second degree if you knowingly cause a fire or explosion which causes damage to a building. This crime is a felony and may be punishable by up to ten years in prison and a $20,000 fine. If you do not have a prior criminal record, you may receive a much lighter sentence, but it is never a guarantee.
WHAT IS RECKLESS BURNING?
You may be charged with reckless burning in the first degree when you recklessly damage a building or another type of structure with a fire or some other sort of explosion. This crime is a felony and may be punishable with a prison sentence and fine. However, if you do not have a prior criminal record, you may only receive 60 days in prison.
Reckless burning in the second degree occurs when someone intentionally causes a fire on his or her own or another person’s property. This fire or explosion must put a building, structure, car, aircraft or crap in danger of damage or destruction in order to be considered a reckless burning in the second degree charge. This crime is a misdemeanor and is punishable by over 90 days in jail.
WHEN IS ARSON A FEDERAL CRIME?
An arson charge is a serious felony accusation, and in some cases, it’s a federal as well as a state-level crime. Why is arson a federal crime? Although in most instances you will be charged by the state, you may face charges in federal courts if the property you damage is a federal building or federally owned. If you’ve been charged with arson, after reviewing your case, experienced Seattle arson attorney Kevin Trombold can explain your legal alternatives and craft an aggressive, effective defense on your behalf.
WHAT DO ARSON INVESTIGATORS DO ACCORDING TO SEATTLE LAW FIRMS?
Arson crimes are investigated by highly skilled and trained law enforcement officers, the fire department and the State Fire Marshall. Using complex testing methods, these authorities are able to determine the point of origin of the fire and whether or not arson can be ruled out.
Why is arson difficult to prove? The evidence that can be presented in court can be very complicated and difficult to understand, which is why it’s important to rely on the skills of a knowledgeable Seattle arson attorney.
WHY DOES ARSON OCCUR?
Prosecutors will try to pin a motive on arson cases. Motives can range from mental health issues such as pyromania to financial reasons, for example when arson is committed for insurance claim purposes. Arson can sometimes be tied to domestic violence or other crimes as well. Prosecutors may allege that you were attempting to destroy evidence of another crime when they charge you with arson. But, a top criminal defense attorney can help you disprove these claims. If you have been accused of arson, you need an experienced Seattle arson attorney to disprove these motives and present your side of the story in court.
GET LEGAL HELP FAST FROM A HIGHLY RATED LAW FIRM IN SEATTLE, WA
A criminal arson charge can severely disrupt your life unless you seek representation from an attorney. Skilled Seattle criminal defense lawyer Kevin Trombold and his dedicated team of criminal defense attorneys begin work quickly so they can start defending your rights as soon as possible. Kevin Trombold has over two decades of legal experience in various practice areas including arson, DUI, drug possession, theft, assault, fraud, sex offenses, homicide, robbery, and burglary. He is respected by the entire legal community, including judges, members of the prosecution, and other attorneys. If you have been charged with arson in Seattle, please contact the Law Offices of Kevin Trombold right away to schedule a free initial consultation. Call our office on the phone at 206-249-9656 or email us via the form on this website today!