In New York, Arson is considered a serious offense. This is partially due to the unpredictable nature of the crime, which can cause substantial damage to property and physical injury. In New York, there are five degrees of Arson.
Arson is generally defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to property or a structure without the consent of the owner. The degrees of arson are categorized by what type of property was set on fire, if there was any risk or injury to people, and the different types of fire that are set.
A New York Arson Lawyer will explain to you that the New York Criminal Court and the District Attorney have traditionally had a strong reaction to arson cases, because of the dangerous nature of the offense. Your bail may be higher for this offense than for other offenses such as Assault, Petite Larceny or DWI. Because of this, it is extremely important that a defendant accused of an arson offense obtain the advice and counsel of the qualified New York Arson Lawyer prior to your Arraignment. A qualified lawyer can help you to navigate through the potentially complicated legal situation at hand.
Depending on the degree of Arson you are being accused of, you may receive a Desk Appearance Ticket. Do not be lulled into thinking that because you were not held in jail your offense is not as serious or that you should not have a lawyer. The receipt of a Desk Appearance Ticket only means that while you were technically arrested and processed, you do not have to stay in jail awaiting your Arraignment hearing. It is important to remember however, that you must attend this hearing, as failure to do so can result in a Bench Warrant.
Arson is categorized by degrees. Arson in the first degree is considered an A Misdemeanor offense. The other degrees of Arson (second degree through the 5th degree) are considered a Felony offense. Arson in the 1st and 2nd degree are categorized as a violent Felony.
It is important to discuss your case with your Brooklyn Criminal Lawyer if there are any affirmative defenses available to you. The existence of an affirmative defense may lessen the severity of the charges against you, or even result in of the dismissal of your case.
If you are facing an arson charge, it is important to have a New York Arson Lawyer to help you deal with this difficult situation and make sure that your rights are adequately protected.
The Office of Stephen Bilkis and Associates can offer you support and guidance as well as a free consultation when you contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW. We have offices in New York City, including Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island and The Bronx and in Nassau County, Suffolk County and Westchester County.