A recent report of a home in Arlington being completely destroyed by fire leaves me with the question on my mind of Arson. The report states that Fire and Rescue were dispatched to a Florida home after smoke and flames coming from the garage. Although the fire was extinguished rather quickly, the resulting damage was extensive. Officials estimate the home to be a “complete loss” with damages estimating to be over $400,000. The cause of the fire is still being investigated, but leads me to question whether this is a case of Arson or not.
In Florida, Arson is defined by Florida Statute § 806.01, which reads “any person who willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged: any dwelling…any structure…any other structure that he or she knew or has reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being.” If convicted for Arson it is a Felony in the first-degree, which holds a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and/or up to a $10000 fine. In contrast, if you commit Arson against property of your own, it is a second degree-felony punishable by 15 years in prison and up to a $10000 fine.
Although this Fire investigation is still in its initial stages, if the homeowners are found to have intentionally set the fire, they could be facing a second-degree felony charge. If on the hand, someone else set the fire, they could potentially face a first-degree felony charge. Or it could just be an accidental fire and no charges will be brought.
A Jacksonville Arson charge is a serious criminal offense with serious penalties. The advice and counsel of a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer could prove invaluable. If you are facing a Jacksonville Arson charge or any other Jacksonville Criminal Offense, contact a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Lawyer to discuss your case and to make sure you and your rights are being protected.