Southaven Arson Defense Attorneys Uphold Your Rights
Aggressive defense of arson and other criminal charges for clients in Southaven, Hernando, Olive Branch and throughout the area
Arson is the crime of starting a fire or setting off an explosion with the intention of causing destruction or harm. It is a crime that is taken very seriously because of the potential of fire to cause such devastating property damage, injury and loss of life. There are varying degrees of arson depending on the circumstances of the fire ranging from fourth degree, which is the attempt to set a fire, to first degree arson. At the law firm of Taylor Jones Taylor, the Southaven, Olive Branch and Hernando arson defense attorneys offer the legal guidance and support you need when you are facing arson charges. The firm provides personalized service and aggressive representation all the way through the process.
Elements of the charge of arson
Mississippi defines four degrees of severity for arson charges:
- First-degree arson is the most serious charge. Also called aggravated arson, first-degree arson is the willful and malicious burning of a dwelling house, outbuilding, place of worship or any type of building whether it is occupied or unoccupied. It carries a penalty of triple the damages for damaged or destroyed property, and they are subject to the forfeiture of any property used in the commission of the crime. (Miss. Code Ann. § 97-17-1)
- Second-degree arson is the willful and malicious burning of other buildings and structures whether one owns the property or not. It carries the penalty of not less than one and not more than ten years in prison.
- Third degree arson is the willful and malicious burning of personal property, and it carries the penalty of not less than one year and not more than three years in prison.
- Fourth degree arson is the attempt to burn any of the types of property mentioned, and the placing of flammable, explosive or combustible materials in any building or property in preparation and with intent to set a fire. The penalty for fourth degree arson can be from one to two years in prison and a fine of not more than $1000.
Aggravating factors for arson
Arson itself is already a serious charge, but depending on the circumstances, there can be additional charges that can increase the penalties. One example is if the fire was intentionally set in order to collect an insurance settlement. If the fire caused bodily injury or death, regardless of the defendant’s intent they can be charged with first-degree arson. If the fire is set to intentionally terrorize or maliciously harm an occupant of the building, the defendant can be charged with first-degree arson.
The essential elements that the prosecution will need to prove is the intention to set the fire and the intention that the fire would cause harm. The Southaven criminal defense attorneys at Taylor Jones Taylor know how to investigate the scene of the fire and build a strong case in defense of their clients. The firm has been representing those accused of crimes for more than 50 years. Each of their clients gets individualized attention and they can feel confident that their rights are being protected throughout the legal proceedings.
Taylor Jones Taylor will protect your rights when you are charged with arson
You should not have to pay for a mistake for the rest of your life – and that is exactly what some courts will take if you are convicted of arson. Taylor Jones Taylor has successfully defended clients in Grenada, Batesville, Cleveland, Oxford and Tupelo and throughout the estate. To make an appointment with one of the criminal defense attorneys, you may call 662-342-1300 or fill out this contact form today. The firm has offices in Southaven, Hernando and Olive Branch, Mississippi. How can we make your future safer today?