Violent crimes charges can fall under a lot of different categories in the state of Maryland. One of the less common, but very serious types of violent crimes is called arson. If you have been accused of arson crimes, it is important to know what the legal definition of arson is and what kinds of punishments are associated with an arson conviction.
Technically speaking, arson refers to the malicious or intentional setting on fire of any place or structure. A place or structure might be defined as a vacant lot or a wooded area, or it could be a building, school, stadium or home.
Arson crimes in Maryland are classified under two different degrees. First-degree arson refers to lighting an occupied place or structure on fire. Second-degree arson refers to setting an unoccupied place or structure on fire. Those who burn down their own buildings for the purpose of collecting insurance money are usually charged with second-degree arson, unless someone happens to be inside the structure at the time of it being set on fire.
Both degrees of arson crimes come with some very serious punishments for those who are convicted. Individuals convicted of arson could be sent to prison and hit with pecuniary fines based on the amount of damages they cause, and they may also be required to pay for the value of the damages they cause.
At the Law Offices of James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates, we have defended Maryland residents against virtually every kind of criminal allegation under the sun, including all types of arson crimes. Fortunately, no person who is accused of a crime will be convicted or punished for the offense until — and only if — he or she is found to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court. Until a decision is made in your court matter, we will aggressively defend your rights under the law.