Arson is a serious crime that can charged in either federal or state court. This page will address arson charges as they are brought forth in Colorado state courts only.
The seriousness of an arson charge is evident from the fact that arson is one of the few crimes not having a statute of limitations, meaning that a crime of arson can be prosecuted any amount of time after it was initially committed.
In Colorado, first-degree arson is a class three felony. An individual has committed first-degree arson when they knowingly set fire to, burn, cause to be burned, or by the use of any explosive damages or destroy, or cause to be damaged or destroyed, any building or occupied structure of another, without that person’s consent. First degree arson is punishable by four to twelve years in prison.
Second-degree arson is a class four felony if the damage is more than $100, and a class two misdemeanor if the damage is less than $100. Second-degree arson only applies to property belonging to another, other than a building or occupied structure. This offense is punishable by two to six years in prison.
Third-degree arson is a class four felony and occurs when a person, by means or fire or explosives, intentionally damages any property with intent to defraud commits third degree arson. This offense is punishable by two to six years in prison.
Fourth-degree arson can be either a class four felony or a class two misdemeanor (if no person is endangered, and the value of the property involved is less than $100). This offense is punishable by two to six years in prison, if a class four felony, and if a class two misdemeanor, three to twelve months in the county jail.
Investigation of Arson Crimes
Firefighters can be crucial to an arson investigation, as they are often the first responders to the scene of an arson crime.
In many arson cases, the firefighters may not see obvious signs of arson, and in others, they may see signs such as multiple points of origin or the presence of accelerants. Regardless, the observation of the responding firefighters typically is what triggers an arson investigation. An investigator specializing in arson investigators will ask specific questions, beginning with the first responders, tailored to ascertaining how and by what means the fire was started.
Of course, an arson investigator may also conduct his investigation with an understanding that typical motives for a crime of arson are an attempt to collect insurance money (insurance fraud), revenge, or an attempt to cover up evidence of some other crime.
While arson is on the decline – statistics show that the incidences of arson has decreased more than 15% since 2013 – charges of arson are still prosecuted throughout the state of Colorado, and when pursued by the state, can be pursued aggressively.
Defending your Colorado Arson case
If you, or a loved one, is being investigated for an arson crime, or has already been charged with arson, then you need to hire an experienced arson trial attorney who can utilize their knowledge, experience, and skill to zealously defend you from this charge and secure the best possible outcome.
Call Attorney Diego now at (720) 257-5346 for a FREE 45 min consultation in reference to any Arson charges.