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Defense Lawyers for Your Arson Case


The difference between arson and aggravated arson

Arson is a serious charge with serious consequences. Fire and explosions can cause extensive damage, often resulting in injury or death to innocent people. As a result, laws against arson are very strict. If you have been accused of being involved in arson, partner with the criminal attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A. to improve your chances of acquittal.

The state of Ohio recognizes two separate charges related to fire and explosions: arson and aggravated arson. The difference between these charges is very large and can be critical to your defense.


Arson is defined as causing or creating a risk of damage to someone else’s property without their consent by means of fire or explosion. A variety of circumstances can affect this charge, including the following:

  • Whether the value of the property was more or less than $1,000
  • Whether there was intent to defraud
  • Whether the property was civic property or a park
  • Whether you or someone else was hired to cause the fire or explosion

At its simplest, a charge of arson is a first-degree misdemeanor. If the value of the property was greater than $1,000, if there was intent to defraud or if the property was a park or property owned by the government, the charge is increased to a fourth-degree felony. If there was a conspiracy to commit arson involving other persons hiring or being hired, it is a third-degree felony.

Aggravated arson

A charge of aggravated arson can be brought against you when people, in addition to the property, are put in danger. A case is classified as aggravated arson when any of the following exists:

  • A person other than the offender is at risk of serious physical harm.
  • There is physical damage to an occupied structure.
  • You or someone else was hired to damage an occupied structure.

If the damage is limited to an occupied structure, then the charge of aggravated arson is considered a second-degree felony. If people were harmed or at risk of harm, or there was any conspiracy to commit the arson, then the charge is enhanced to a first-degree felony.

Set up a meeting to discuss your options when you’re charged with arson in Ohio

Call us at 614.224.6142 or fill out our web contact form to make an appointment at our downtown Columbus office. At Yavitch & Palmer Co., L.P.A., we are available days, evenings and weekends when necessary to review your case. Let us determine a sensible course of action toward a positive outcome.

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