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In Illinois, arson is one of the most serious crimes punishable by multiple penalties and jail time. Arson crimes generally refer to any crimes carried out with fire or explosives, which are used extensively to damage a property. However, not all arson crimes are the same. Before a court handles charges and penalties, the intentions and actions of the perpetrator, or the arsonist, are taken into consideration. Under the Illinois law, the offender could be charged under two variations:
In Illinois, for the damage to qualify as arson, the damaged property should be worth at least $150. You will need a qualified criminal defense attorney to help you strategize against arson penalties.
A person who is charged with arson will face a Class 2 felony. The sentence and fine range depends on the different types of arson and the overall damage to property. The jail term for a crime relating to arson could range from 3- to 7-years or more and fines up to $25,000 and four years of probation.
Penalty for Residential Arson
An individual committed a residential arson if he/she burns down the residence or dwelling of another person. Regardless of the reason, the perpetrator will be subjected to 3- to 7-years year’s jail time, $25,000 fine and four years’ probation period. If you feel you are wrongfully accused of arson, you can defend yourself by hiring a competent defense attorney.
Penalty for Aggravated Arson
Aggravated arson is a serious criminal charge. An individual charged with committing aggravated arson alleges an individual, while committing an act of arson, willingly and knowingly, partially or completely damaged surrounding properties.
Any damage to the neighboring structures, which includes but not limited to, a school building, a motor vehicle, camper van or RV, watercraft, or a railroad car, is considered as an aggravated assault. Moreover, if during such an act, there are people present in any of these neighboring buildings or other property and if they suffer severe or minor bodily harm, then the penalty could get much severe and be upgraded to an aggravated arson charge. The penalty for aggravated arson is a Class X Felony, punishable from 6- to 30-years.
Penalty for Place of Worship Arson
An individual will be committing a place of worship arson when the perpetrator willingly and knowingly burns a place of worship, such as a church, or any other place of worship, by using fire or explosives. The place of worship arson is classified as a Class 1 Felony and features the same penalties as residential arson.
If you wish to know more about arson charges, the defense procedure or schedule a free consultation, then contact Michael D. Ettinger & Associates at (708) 923-0368 to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.