Arson is a crime in all states, and comes with especially harsh penalties in Wagoner, Oklahoma.
It is a crime of stealth and is done for various reasons.
Sometimes it is done for monetary gain. Burning an old building down to collect insurance money can be a strong motivation.
There are also people who compulsively set fires.
And sometimes, a fire can cover up evidence of another crime.
Arson is a crime of intent — to destroy a structure or its contents. It can involve the use of an explosive device, accelerant, ignition device, or matches. It is always a felony offense.
Under Oklahoma law, arson in the first degree is defined as the willful and malicious setting fire to or the deliberate burning of any structure, in whole or in part, using an explosive device, accelerant, ignition device, or something similar at a time when the structure is inhabited by another person.
It can include fires set accidentally while engaging in the manufacture of drugs such as methamphetamine.
It is punishable by up to 35 years in prison, a fine of up to $25,000, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1401.
Second-degree arson involves the burning of an building uninhabited at the time of the fire.
If the property is intended as housing or if a person lives in the building, the crime is chargeable in the first degree even if the building was unoccupied at the time the fire was set.
It is punishable by up to 25 years in prison, a fine of up to $20,000, or both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 1402.
In Oklahoma, arson in the third degree is the burning of property valued at $50 or more by use of an explosive device.
This crime usually involves cars, trucks, crops, pastureland, and the like.
It is punishable by up to 15 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 1403.
Even the attempt to burn property is a crime. This is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Okla. Stat. 21 § 1404.
As felony offenses, all forms of arson are punishable by time in prison.
Whether done as a lark, for the thrill of it, or for other reasons, you could spend years in prison. That will change your life forever.
If you are facing charges for this or any crime involving jail or prison time, you want to make sure that you hire the best help available. Call an experienced Wagoner criminal defense lawyer today.
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