There is a host of different property crimes that can occur. While most people think of property crimes involving thefts, such as robbery or larceny, there are other crimes that involve property that might not be as common. That isn’t to say that they aren’t serious. All property crimes, even those like arson that don’t involve theft, are serious matters that can come with considerable penalties.
The malicious and willful burning of property is the definition of arson. This means that anyone who sets fire to a property can be charged with arson, even if the property is his or her own property. There are certain elements that must be considered in an arson case, some of which can vary slightly.
In the event that a person sets fire to his or her own property, he or she might be charged with arson if the purpose of the fire was to destroy that property so he or she can file an insurance claim. In this case, the person might also face charges of insurance fraud in connection with the fire.
If a person sets fire to property that isn’t his or her own, it is likely going to be considered arson. It is possible to be charged with arson even if buildings weren’t destroyed. For example, if you set trees in a forest on fire, you will likely be charged with arson.
One reason why arson charges are serious is because of the potential injuries and deaths that can occur. Firemen, for example, could be injured trying to contain and stop the fire. If you are facing an arson charge, you should make sure that you understand the possible defenses that might work in your case.
Source: FindLaw, “Arson,” accessed May 20, 2016