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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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