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Arson can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor, but the consequences are serious in both instances. If you have been accused of committing arson, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced defense lawyer for legal support. The attorneys at Gemma & Karimi, LLP have been advocating for clients for 25 years collectively, and they bring significant experience as former prosecutors and long-time private defenders. They will sit down with you to outline your goals for your case and develop an aggressive strategy to fight for those goals.

Schedule a free consultation with Gemma & Karimi, LLP to discuss your arson defense options.

What Is a Crime of Arson?

Arson is the crime of deliberately setting fires to or detonating explosives in buildings, wildlife areas, or other structures, resulting in property damage and even personal injury. Most arson crimes are charged as felonies, though less severe arson crimes are “wobblers” that may be charged as either misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances. Note that a person may be charged with a separate offense for each individual who suffers bodily injury caused by the act of arson.

Level 2 Felony

Indiana law categorizes arson into several felony levels, with Level 2 being the most severe. More specifically, a crime of arson will be charged at the Level 2 Felony level if it results in serious bodily injury to any person other than the defendant. The penalties will depend on the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s criminal history, but Level 2 arson is generally punishable by:

  • 10-30 years in prison;
  • up to $10,000 in fines.

Level 3 Felony

Arson for hire, typically a Level 4 felony, is a Level 3 felony if the arson results in bodily injury to any other person. Level 3 arson is punishable by the following sentencing range:

  • 3-16 years in prison;
  • up to $10,000 in fines.

Level 4 Felony

Level 4 arson occurs when an individual, by means of fire, an explosive, or a destructive device, knowingly or intentionally damages:

  • a dwelling of another person without their consent;
  • property of any person under circumstances that endanger human life;
  • property of another person without their consent if the pecuniary loss is $5,000 or more;
  • a structure used for religious worship without the consent of the owner of the structure.

The penalties for Level 4 arson include:

  • 2-12 years in prison;
  • up to $10,000 in fines.

Level 6 Felony

Lastly, Level 6 arson may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. The crime is a Level 6 felony in the following situations:

  • the act of arson damaged another’s property with the intent to defraud; 
  • the act of arson damaged another’s property without their consent and resulted in a financial loss of $250-$5,000.

As a felony, Level 6 arson is punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. As a misdemeanor, Level 6 arson is punishable by a minimum of 6 months in jail.

If you are facing criminal charges for arson in Indianapolis, contact an experienced defense lawyer immediately. While arson is a crime less talked about in the mainstream, it is not any less serious in consequence. Depending on the allegations against you, you could be risking decades in prison and thousands in fines. Let the aggressive and experienced lawyers at Gemma & Karimi, LLP defend you against your charges.

Schedule a free consultation with the firm online to get started today.

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