Those convicted of arson can face serious penalties, including up to 40 years in prison. Given the seriousness of a federal arson charge, it’s critical to seek the advice and guidance of a federal crime expert who can help you formulate a strong defense.

Elements of arson

A person is considered to have committed a federal arson fire if:

Intentionally set fire to or attempted to set fire to a building;

He acted delicately and without justification.

In order for a case to be tried in federal court, the building that is the subject of the case must be:

Located on property owned by the government of the United States of America, or leased by the government of the United States, including any of its departments, agencies, and any organization that receives federal financial assistance; or

It is used in interstate commerce or in any activity that affects interstate commerce.

In an attempted arson case, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant took substantial action to commit the crime. Establishing that a defendant simply made preparations to start a fire is not sufficient to warrant a conviction. To be considered a substantial action, it must be demonstrated that, after the action taken by the defendant, at least if it were interrupted by some independent circumstance, the crime had occurred.

Using Fire to Commit a Serious Crime

A person may also be charged with a federal crime by using fire or an explosive during the commission of a serious crime. If you are found guilty of the aforementioned crime, you will receive a sentence of ten years in prison, on top of the sentence for the serious crime committed. If it is the second time or more, the penalty will be at least 20 years in prison. Courts are specifically prohibited from paroling persons convicted of this crime or suspending their sentence. The simple act of carrying an explosive during the commission of a serious crime can be prosecuted under this federal law.

Potential Penalties

Defendants convicted of this crime face between five and 20 years in prison. If a fire, directly or indirectly, caused an injury to another person, or even put a person at risk of injury, the accused will automatically be sentenced to between seven and 40 years in prison. Finally, if someone is killed as a result of the fire, the defendant faces between 20 years in prison and life in prison.

Call today to schedule a free consultation with a federal crime attorney.

Federal crimes tend to be aggressively investigated and prosecuted and almost always carry more severe penalties than similar crimes at the state level. Having the advice of an experienced Miami attorney who is familiar with federal law can make all the difference in the outcome of a case, so if you have been charged with arson or another federal offense, get in touch with Jeffrey S. Weiner, PA Criminal Defense Lawyers by calling 305-670-9919 or start a live chat with a member of our legal team. You can also contact us by completing and submitting one of our forms. We look forward to answering your questions and clarifying your legal questions.

Resources:

Law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/844

Ce9.uscourts.gov/jury-instructions/node/456