Grand Rapids Arson Attorneys
What is Arson?
In the state of Michigan, the term “arson” refers to the act of destroying or attempting to destroy a house or building by deliberately setting it on fire. Being accused of arson is a serious matter, not only because it comes with such stringent penalties but because it can be a very challenging case to defend. The reason for this is because insurance investigators are usually much more aggressive than normal law officers. If they can prove that the fire was apparently suspicious, then they can deny paying an insurance claim and losing out on money.
It is crucial to obtain counsel from our arson lawyers in Grand Rapids at Rodenhouse Law Group as soon as you can. If you want to protect your liberty, taking proactive steps in building a strategic case is the most powerful way of securing your freedom.
Contact us now at (616) 344-5066 if you have any concerns or questions to discuss with our knowledgeable criminal defense team.
Types of Arson Charges
The exact penalty for this kind of crime will usually depend on why the fire was set, how much damage was incurred on the building, and whether any people were harmed or killed because of the fire.
Some examples of the degrees of arson charge classifications and their penalties include:
- Arson to the First-Degree – Burning or attempting to burn any multi-unit building that holds at least one dwelling within it. Whether or not the building was occupied, this could result in a life-long prison sentence.
- Arson to the Second-Degree – Burning or attempting to burn any dwelling, whether it is occupied or not. This could result in a prison sentence of up to 20 years in length.
- Arson to the Third-Degree – Burning or attempting to burn a building, structure, or someone’s property where the monetary value is more than $20,000. This could result in a prison sentence of up to 10 years in length.
- Arson to the Fourth-Degree – Burning any personal property where the monetary value is between the ranges of $20,000 and $1,000. This could result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years in length.
Arson & Insurance Fraud in Michigan
In many cases, a fire might have been caused not on another person’s property, but your own. We have discovered this has usually come to be from a tragic accident, rather than some malicious intent. However, you can be sure that insurance companies, which are businesses rather than authorities of justice, will be looking to accuse you of starting the fire purposely. This way, they can deny you the insurance you desperately need. You could quickly go from being a grieving victim to an accused arsonist if you do not have the support of a determined criminal defense team. Moreover, insurance companies might even go a step further and claim you committed insurance fraud, so they could penalize you in multiple ways if you are convicted.
Taking Rapid Measures to Build Your Defense
It is important to remember that if you have been accused of an arson-related crime, you are not merely fighting against charges from the usual law enforcement officials. Insurance investigators are even more determined to convict you and deny any possible claims for insurance. When there is money at stake, the opposing side is less likely to be concerned about justice and will stop at nothing to make sure you take the blame. Taking proactive steps by obtaining legal counsel from our dedicated arson attorneys in Grand Rapids is the surest way of preparing to defend yourself in court.
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