In the state of New Hampshire, arson is a serious criminal offense that can result in either a misdemeanor or felony conviction for the accused. If you have been charged with arson, our attorneys can assist you with preparing a defense.
What Is Arson?
Arson is defined as knowingly causing or starting a fire that causes damage to another person's property. In the state of New Hampshire, arson can either be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on which portion of the statute the defendant is accused of violating.
Arson can classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the accused if convicted of Class A misdemeanor arson, then he or she could potentially face up to 12 months in jail and/or be forced to pay a fine.
Arson is considered a felony in the following circumstances:
- If the property destroyed is of historic value;
- If the damage to the property exceeds $1000;
- If the fire or explosion was set maliciously;
- If the fire was started for the purposes of collecting insurance money;
- If the damaged property is classified as real estate; or
- If you knowingly caused a fire that placed another person in danger of serious bodily injury or death.
A person convicted of felony arson can receive thousands of dollars in fines and be sentenced to a lengthy term of imprisonment.
Defending Against Arson Charges
If you are charged with arson, the State is obligated to prove every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Failure to do so should result in charges against you being dropped. Our lawyers will ensure that you are not wrongfully convicted if the State fails to meet its standard of proof.
In arson cases, usually some type of investigation needs to be done to determine certain key factual information for your case. If you choose to retain us, we will likely hire an expert arson investigator to determine the origin of the fire or explosion. In some arson cases, the State fails to rule out the possibility of accident as the source of the fire. Also, in some cases the State relies on evidence supplied by investigators who are not qualified to offer a conclusion regarding an arson case. We will combat any non-reliable expert witness testimony at trial.
If you have been accused of arson, our criminal defense lawyers can try to assist you with avoiding conviction. If the evidence against you is so great that the chances of avoiding conviction are low, then we may be able to negotiate a plea deal with the prosecution. No result is every guaranteed but you can be confident that our criminal defense lawyers will do everything legally possible to ensure that you receive a fair trial.
Attorney Fricano successfully defended an arson case wherein a young man was accused of setting a fire on the roof of a local school. After extensive pre-trial litigation, Attorney Fricano was able to avoid a felony conviction and his client pled guilty to a lesser misdemeanor charge.
If you have been charged with arson or any other criminal offense, contact the Law Office of Chadwick-Fricano-Weber today at (603) 880-6100 to schedule an initial consultation.