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New Brunswick Third Degree Arson Defense Lawyer
The term arson is often used to refer to someone intentionally setting a fire. In this state of NJ, however, arson (a.k.a. “simple arson”) is actually a specific criminal offense that is one of four (4) types of charges an individual may be prosecuted for in the event that they deliberately start a fire. The other three varieties of this offense are aggravated arson, arson for hire, and failure to control/report a fire. What follows is a summary of the charge of arson and some important issues you should know regarding a third degree arson offense. Our attorneys are former prosecutors that possess over 100 years of collective experience and make up the largest defense team in Middlesex County. A defense lawyer who is highly experienced in defending third degree charges is available immediately to assist you at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. We handle third degree arson offenses through this region including Carteret, Spotswood, South River, Monroe and Dunellel. If you would like to speak to an arson attorney in our New Brunswick Office, call 732-246-7126.
Elements of the Offense of Arson – N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1(b)
Jurisdiction to deal with arson in the third degree cases rests with the Middlesex County Superior Court. The state will have to prove three elements, beyond reasonable doubt, to secure a conviction for arson. The elements the prosecutor must establish include:
- Defendant started a fire or caused an explosion;
- Defendant acted purposely; and
- The fire or explosion resulted in recklessly putting another in danger of death or bodily harm, recklessly destroying a building or structure, purposely wanting to collect insurance benefits, purposely damaging a structure to avoid zoning or ordinance requirements or recklessly damaging or destroying a forest.
Degree of Offense & Distinction from Aggravated Arson. Arson is a third degree crime as compared to aggravated arson, which is a second degree. The elements of the two offenses are largely the same with the exception of the mental state necessary to find someone guilty of each. Aggravated arson is obviously more serious, carrying not only a presumption of incarceration, but also triggering application of the No Early Release Act (“NERA”).
Penalties For Arson Under 2C:17-1(b)
Arson, as a third degree crime, is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison. There is also a potential fine that can reach $15,000. A judge may also impose a period of probation and/or community service.
Edison NJ Arson Attorneys
Since an arson charge is always a felony, it is highly advisable to have representation from an experienced arson attorney if you are facing this offense. The lawyers at our firm represent individuals charged with third degree arson in Woodbridge, Piscataway, Perth Amboy and other locations in Middlesex County. More importantly, we are highly knowledgeable advocates with a long track record of success. A lawyer on our team is available 24/7 to assist you in our office. Call us now at 732-246-7126.