The law treats intentionally setting fires seriously and the state often aggressively pursues criminal charges. If you have been accused of purposefully igniting a fire or causing an explosion in Ohio, you may be charged with arson or aggravated arson and could face years in prison, substantial financial losses, a permanent mark on your criminal record, and registration in a statewide database.
Section 2909 of the Ohio Revised Code governs the Arson and Related Offenses.
Ohio law deems it illegal for any person, by using fire or explosion, to knowingly create risk of physical harm to another person’s property without their consent or with the purpose to defraud.
Arson can be charged as a Misdemeanor of the 1st degree or a Felony of the 4th degree, depending on the value of what was damaged. If the arson offense involves an agreement for hire, the offense will be charged as a Felony of the 3rd degree.
Aggravated Arson involves using fire or explosion to knowingly cause a substantial risk of physical harm to any person other than the offender or physical harm to any occupied structure. Aggravated Arson is a Felony of the 2nd degree, and carries 2-8 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines.
In 2012, the Governor of the State of Ohio signed into law Senate Bill 70 which enacted sections 2909.13, 2909.14, and 2909.15 of the Ohio Revised Code. This Ohio law requires those convicted of arson to register with the sheriff of the county in which the individual resides and pay the registration fees.
Other arson-related offenses include: Disrupting Public Services, Vandalism, Criminal Damaging or Endangering, and Criminal Mischief.
If you have been charged with arson, aggravated arson, or any related offense, you need to have a knowledgeable and skilled attorney by your side. Call Hayes Law today to discuss the specifics of your case so that we may begin building your defense.