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Washington Arson Charges   

Common Law defines arson as the malicious burning or exploding of the dwelling or house of another, or the burning of a building within the cartilage, the immediate surrounding space, of the dwelling of another.  Arson also includes the act of burning any insured dwelling, regardless of whether or not it belongs to another person.  Any attempt to defraud an insurer by burning a home or dwelling will constitute arson.  If you have been charged with arson, a Seattle violent crimes lawyer can do a lot to help your case.  From the police station to the courtroom, your attorney will be an important legal advocate protecting your rights at all costs.

The violent crime of arson can entail a number of acts and be committed for many different reasons.  The main elements necessary to charge and convict a person for committing arson are evidence of a burning and evidence that a criminal act caused the fire.  In order to be convicted for arson in Washington, the defendant must have intended to burn the building or structure, and must have done so maliciously.  Accidental fires and burnings do not necessarily constitute arson, but many times accidents can be confused for arson and it will become necessary for a lawyer to clarify this difference. 

Seattle Arson Attorneys: Skilled & Aggressive Representation   

Depending upon the specific circumstances of the crime, a defendant may be charged with first degree, second degree, or third degree arson.  The degree of arson to be charged will depend on the following factors:

  • The value and type of property burned
  • Whether the crime was committed during the day or at night
  • If the burning occurred close enough to other dwellings to endanger them
  • If the crime was committed with the intent of defrauding insurers
  • If anyone was injured or killed as a result of the crime

If a death resulted from this criminal act, the defendant may also be subject to additional charges for murder, increasing the severity of the sentence if conviction occurs.  Arson is a serious violent offense, and is often charged as a felony, so you will need every possible advantage to have a chance at getting your charges reduced or dismissed. 

If you have been charged with arson, contact a Seattle Violent Crimes Attorney immediately so work can begin on your case! 

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