Arson or Malicious Burning
In the state of Virginia, arson is referred to as "Malicious Burning" and is considered a felony offense. An arson charge entails that you started a fire intentionally in order to harm or damage another individual's property or to cause bodily injury to another individual. Depending on the value of the property destroyed, the type of property destroyed, and whether the property was occupied during the time of the fire you can face anywhere from 12 months in prison to a life sentence. If you have been accused of arson or malicious burning, it is very important that you seek out a criminal defense attorney without delay.
Understanding the Repercussions of an Arson Conviction
The circumstances of your alleged crime dictate the severity of the prison sentence you may receive. If you set fire to or aided in the burning of an occupied dwelling such as a home, an apartment, or a church, you can be sentenced anywhere from 5 years to life in prison. For burning an occupied non-residential building, the maximum penalty is close to 20 years behind bars. The possible sentence for burning an unoccupied building, residential or otherwise, usually falls between 2 to 10 years in prison.
In order to secure a guilty verdict against an individual accused of arson, a prosecutor must prove that the fire was started intentionally, that the accused party started the fire, and that the accused party acted out of malicious intent. At the Law Office of James A. Bullard, we will aggressively fight any arson charges brought against you. As a former prosecutor, attorney Bullard has firsthand experience with the difficulties prosecutors face when trying to prove intent in an arson case. He will hold prosecutors to the facts of the case and not let them speculate about your intentions. Your future is too important to let arson charges stand in your way. Call our firm today.