One of the most serious offenses under Massachusetts criminal code is that of Arson. If a person is convicted of Arson, they could spend years of their life behind bars. At the Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, our criminal defense attorney is passionate about providing those facing arson charges with the qualified legal representation they need and are entitled to. If you or a loved one has been charged with arson, speaking with a lawyer immediately is critical. Call our law office today to get started.
Defining Arson Under Massachusetts Law
The crime of Arson can be found in Massachusetts criminal code, Chapter 266 Section 1. Under the law, arson is defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to, burning, or causing to be burned any dwelling house or building. In order to secure a conviction of arson, the prosecution is responsible for proving beyond a reasonable doubt the following:
- The defendant set fire to the property, burned the property, caused the property to be burned, or aided or counseled another in the burning of the property;
- The burning of the property was willful and intentional, not accidental; and
- The burning of the property was malicious.
Penalties for Arson
The penalties for arson are severe. A person who is found guilty of arson could serve a term of incarceration of up to 20 years, pay a fine of up to $10,000, or both. A person may also face civil charges for arson, and could be found liable for the value of the property. In addition to monetary consequences and potential prison time, being charged with arson can also severely harm your reputation and your future opportunities, making it difficult to obtain employment even after your sentence has been served.
Strategies for Defending Yourself Against Arson Charges
If you are facing arson charges, the best thing that you can do is hire a skilled criminal defense attorney who is experienced in arson cases as soon as possible. Your attorney will immediately start reviewing the facts of your case and advise on the best course of action, which may be either negotiating a plea bargain with the prosecution or defending yourself against charges and pleading “not guilty.” If the latter, your attorney will work hard to disprove elements of the prosecution’s case, arguing that you weren’t involved in the fire/burning, the burning was an accident and did not involve malice or intent, or that the prosecution has made an incorrect conclusion about other evidence in the case.
Reach Out to an Experienced Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are facing criminal charges, it is your legally protected right to seek legal representation and to defend yourself against charges. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, we know how terrifying the prospect of a criminal conviction is. Reach out to our aggressive defense attorney at (978) 397-0011 or by sending us a message online to start building your case now.