Colorado Arson Defense Lawyers

In Col­orado, arson is gen­er­ally defined as using fire or explo­sives in a man­ner that dam­ages or endan­gers per­sons or prop­erty.  The com­plex­ity of fire sci­ence requires nation­ally renowned experts who are more qual­i­fied than law enforce­ment and insur­ance inves­ti­ga­tors to deter­mine fire ori­gin and cause.  It is well known that junk fire sci­ence has even resulted in the state exe­cut­ing inno­cent crim­i­nal defen­dants.  Often times insur­ance com­pa­nies may be moti­vated to encour­age false crim­i­nal charges against indi­vid­u­als for their own finan­cial gain.

The attor­neys at Rathod | Mohamedb­hai LLC have the expe­ri­ence and exper­tise nec­es­sary to nav­i­gate this nuanced area of the law and aggres­sively defend your rights at every step.  We have suc­cess­fully defend­ing com­plex and mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar arson prop­erty dam­age cases.  Not only do we have work­ing rela­tion­ships with the most renowned national experts in fire sci­ence, but we have under­gone par­tic­u­lar­ized fire sci­ence training.

There are four dif­fer­ent degrees of arson rang­ing from a class 3 mis­de­meanor to a class 3 felony.

First Degree Arson, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–4-102

A per­son com­mits first degree arson if he or she know­ingly sets fire to, burns, causes to be burned, or by the use of any explo­sive dam­ages or destroys, or causes to be dam­aged or destroyed, any build­ing or occu­pied struc­ture of another with­out his con­sent.  The key dif­fer­ence between first degree arson and the other degrees of arson is that in order to be con­victed, a per­son must have dam­aged another’s build­ing or occu­pied structure.

First degree arson is a class 3 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of four years.  How­ever, if a per­son com­mits first degree arson by using an explo­sive, or if a per­son causes seri­ous bod­ily injury or death to another as a result of com­mit­ting first degree arson, he or she com­mits a crime of vio­lence that presents an extra­or­di­nary risk of harm to soci­ety, and is sub­ject to a min­i­mum sen­tence of ten years and a max­i­mum sen­tence of up to thirty-two years of imprisonment.

Sec­ond Degree Arson, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–4-103

A per­son com­mits sec­ond degree arson if he or she know­ingly sets fire to, burns, causes to be burned, or by the use of any explo­sive dam­ages or destroys, or causes to be dam­aged or destroyed, any prop­erty of another with­out his con­sent, other than a build­ing or occu­pied structure.

Sec­ond degree arson is a class 4 felony if the dam­age to another’s prop­erty is $100 or more.  Sec­ond degree arson as a class 4 felony car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of two years and a max­i­mum sen­tence of six years of imprisonment.

If the prop­erty dam­age is less than $100, sec­ond degree arson is a class 2 mis­de­meanor that car­ries a min­i­mum pun­ish­ment of a $250 fine, or three months of impris­on­ment, or both.  Its max­i­mum pun­ish­ment is a $1000 fine, twelve months of impris­on­ment, or both.

Third Degree Arson, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–4-104

A per­son com­mits third degree arson if he or she, by means of fire or explo­sives, inten­tion­ally dam­ages any prop­erty with intent to defraud.  The most com­mon com­mis­sions of third degree arson involve indi­vid­u­als who burn their own prop­erty in order to fraud­u­lently col­lect insur­ance money.

Third degree arson is a class 4 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of two years and a max­i­mum sen­tence of six years of imprisonment.

Fourth Degree Arson, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 18–4-105

A per­son com­mits fourth degree arson if he or she know­ingly or reck­lessly starts or main­tains a fire or causes an explo­sion, on his own prop­erty or that of another, and by so doing places another in dan­ger of death or seri­ous bod­ily injury or places any build­ing or occu­pied struc­ture of another in dan­ger of dam­age.  A con­vic­tion of fourth degree arson does not require proof that another’s per­son or prop­erty was actu­ally dam­aged, nor does it require the intent to dam­age another’s per­son or prop­erty, nor does it require knowl­edge that start­ing or main­tain­ing a fire puts another’s per­son or prop­erty at risk of dam­age.  It sim­ply requires a per­son to start or main­tain a fire that is in fact dan­ger­ous to another’s per­son or property.

If a per­son is endan­gered by the com­mis­sion of fourth degree arson, then it is a class 4 felony that car­ries a min­i­mum sen­tence of two years and a max­i­mum sen­tence of six years of imprisonment.

If only prop­erty is endan­gered, and that prop­erty is worth $100 or more, fourth degree arson is a class 2 mis­de­meanor that car­ries a min­i­mum pun­ish­ment of a $250 fine, or three months of impris­on­ment, or both.  Its max­i­mum pun­ish­ment is a $1000 fine, twelve months of impris­on­ment, or both.

If only prop­erty is endan­gered, and that prop­erty is worth less than $100, fourth degree arson is a class 3 mis­de­meanor that car­ries a min­i­mum pun­ish­ment of a $50 fine.  Its max­i­mum pun­ish­ment is six months of impris­on­ment, a $750 fine, or both.