When a person damages property intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly by fire, explosives, or burning, the individual is committing an offense. There are four different types of arson charges depending on what property is damaged, if lives are endangered by burning the property, and what means are used to damage the property. If you or someone you know has been accused of arson in Colorado, it is important to seek legal counsel.
Lawyer for Arson Defense in Colorado Springs, CO
If you or a loved one is facing arson charges, it is imperative that you consult with a knowledgeable attorney. Retaining an attorney at the earliest stages of your case can help you retain your freedom and reputation. Contact the skilled and experienced attorneys of Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our aggressive legal team will work tirelessly for the most favorable outcome. We work with clients in Colorado Springs and across the surrounding areas of El Paso, Denver, and Arapahoe Counties. Call us at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a free initial consultation.
Overview of Arson in Colorado
Degrees of Arson
Colorado state identifies four degrees of arson, it depends on the value of the item that was damage, who the property belonged to, and if the fire was set intentionally or recklessly. An individual commits the crime of arson when he or she intentionally sets fire to someone else’s property or their own to damage or destroy the property of another without consent.
- First-degree arson – Per Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-4-102, a person knowingly sets fire to, burns, causes to be burned, or by the use of any explosive damages or destroys, or causes to be damaged or destroyed, any building or occupied structure of another without his consent commits first degree arson. First-degree arson is a class 3 felony.
- Second-degree arson – Applies to all other property intentionally damaged by fire or explosives without the consent of the property owner (See Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-4-103). Second-degree arson can range from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 4 felony.
- Third-degree arson – Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-4-104 states that a person commits arson by means of fire or explosives, intentionally damages any property with the intent to defraud. A third-degree arson is a class 4 felony.
- Fourth-degree arson – Per Colo. Rev. Stat. §18-4-105, a person who knowingly or recklessly starts or maintains a fire or causes an explosion, on his own property or that of another, and by so doing places another in danger of death or serious bodily injury or places any building or occupied structure of another in danger of damage commits fourth degree arson. Nevertheless, the action is not arson if the person starts and maintains the fire as a controlled agricultural burn in a reasonably caution manner and if no one is injured as a result of the fire. Fourth-degree arson can range from a class 2 misdemeanor to a class 4 felony depending on whether a person was injured, and the value of the property.
Below are the penalties for each degree of arson:
- First-degree arson is a class 3 felony and is punishable by a minimum of 4 years and up to 12 years in prison and/or paying a fine of up to $750,000
- Second-degree arson can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony depending on the value of the property. For instance, if the damage to the property was $100 or more then it is a class 4 felony and punishable by two (2) to six (6) years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000. However, if the damage to the property is less than $100, then it is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by three (3) to twelve (12) months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Third-degree arson is a class 4 felony and that entails having to serve two (2) to six (6) years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000
- Fourth-degree arson ranges from a class 4 felony to a class 3 misdemeanor.
- If a person is endangered by the reckless action of the defendant, it is a class 4 felony punishable by a maximum of six (6) years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000
- If only the property is endangered, and it is worth $100 or more then it is a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by three (3) to twelve (12) months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
- If only the property is endangered, and it is worth less than $100 then it is a class 3 misdemeanor punishable by six (6) months in jail and/or a fine of up to $750.
Defense Against Arson Charge in Colorado
It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced attorney and understand the legal options available to you. At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC, our skilled attorneys will take the time to investigate on your behalf and help your build a strong defense.
Arson – Colorado Revised Statutes – Follow the link to learn more information about Colorado’s revised statutes regarding arson. The list includes information regarding definitions and penalties.
Colorado Arson Attorney
If you have been arrested for allegedly starting a fire with the intention of destroying or damaging the property, it is in your best interest to contact a skilled arson criminal defense attorney. At Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC the experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to get the most favorable outcome in your specific situation. We assist clients in areas such as El Paso County, Denver County and Arapahoe County. Call us at (719) 328-1616 or complete an online contact form to schedule a confidential consultation.