An intentional or reckless fire or dangerous use of explosives can be considered arson. Fire is unpredictable and can cause enormous danger to property and human life. Because of its potential for damage, even small fires are generally taken seriously by the courts.

There are five arson offences:

  1. A fire set that causes bodily harm or being reckless as to whether the property is occupied by one or more people.
  2. A fire set intentionally or recklessly that causes damage to another’s property.
  3. A fire set to your own property that causes damage and seriously threatens the health, safety, or property of another person.
  4. A fire set with the intent of committing fraud such as collecting insurance money that causes damage to property.
  5. Allowing a fire to get out of control and cause bodily harm to another person by being negligent.

Defending an arson charge

A team of specialists will be tasked with determining the cause and reason of a fire in a large arson case. This will create a complicated array of expert evidence and police reports. A good defence lawyer will be able to interpret these reports and other information to build a case and target any weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

A review of the reports generated by the investigation will likely focus on the following areas:

  • Will there be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that someone started the fire or explosion?
  • Are there any eyewitnesses and are they reliable or trustworthy?
  • Are there any other people that may have a motive to start a fire?
  • Does the cause of the fire have a credible alternative explanation?

Someone charged with arson could face a maximum jail sentence of 10 years, 14 years, or life depending on the type of arson charged. An order will likely be made that the victims are paid in full for the damage caused by the fire or explosion.

The consequences of an arson charge can be too serious to deal with alone. An experienced criminal defence lawyer can help ensure the best case is made. The amount of damage someone charged will be obligated to pay may be able to be reduced or a plea may be arranged to less serious charges.

If you’ve been charged with a serious criminal offense such as arson, it’s important to have a criminal defence lawyer thoroughly review your case.

Contact Tom Doust Criminal Lawyer for a consultation.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to know all of your options. Contact trial lawyer Tom Doust now to set up a free consultation to discuss the potential defences to your case.

Other Practice Areas

Vancouver Criminal Lawyer Tom Doust defends clients charged with any criminal offence. In addition to drug/marijuana offencesviolent crimes (i.e. domestic, assault, murder, etc), and traffic violations/speeding tickets, Mr. Doust has the expertise and regularly practices in all the following areas:

  • Fraud / Identity Theft (Including Securities Act Offences): Mr. Doust has handled many fraud cases, ranging from credit card fraud in the millions to bad cheques.

  • Corporate / White Collar Crimes: Mr. Doust is experienced with the nuances of defending Corporations and has defended a number of them.

  • Customs / Border Issues: Available 24 hrs/day for any charges/detentions.

  • Drunk Driving: As a law student Mr. Doust defended his first impaired driving case in 1994 and has handled a great number of these since. He has worked with alcohol absorption experts and has incorporated well-developed methods and tactics for handling them.

  • Motor Vehicle Accidents: Mr. Doust has significant trial experience in these matters. These include the most serious driving offences in which death has occurred. He has access to recognized, professional accident Reconstruction Engineers/Accident Analysts and other experts who aide him in aggressively defending you.

  • Bail Matters: Mr. Doust is an experienced bail court counsel. He has successfully obtained bail for all but a few of his client’s over the years. He has successfully obtained bail for numerous clients in Supreme Court when they were unjustly detained in lower court. Mr. Doust is available 24 hrs/day by phone and can often appear on short notice for bail hearings the next day, even when out of town.

  • Administrative and Regulatory Offences (including Securities Law)

  • Weapon Offences

  • Hunting and Fishing Violations

  • Property Crimes

  • Kidnapping / Unlawful Confinement

  • Uttering Threats

  • Criminal Harassment

  • Extortion

  • Arson

  • Home Invasion

  • Return of Seized Money / Property

  • Administrative Driving Prohibitions