Omaha Arson Lawyers
Defending Arson Suspects Across the State of Nebraska
Arson occurs when a person intentionally burns any kind of structure or
building, or causes an explosion while a building is occupied. Arson cases
are often investigated by elite law enforcement units who use advanced
chemical analysis to pin point the origin of a fire and the most likely
contributing factors to the fire’s ignition and spread. In addition
to locating the cause of a fire or explosion, police are also interested
determining if the act was committed in retaliation or to conceal another
crime. Because arson can cause significant financial damage and/or bodily
harm, and can be related to the commission of other crimes, law enforcement
will frequently utilize their full arsenal of tools and personnel in pursuit
of prosecution of arson crimes.
For these reasons and more, anyone accused of arson will likely want to
seek out an experienced attorney to help combat the overwhelming power
of the state to avoid the potential penalties of an arson conviction.
Punishments for Arson
1st Degree Arson: Treated as a Class 2 Felony.
2nd Degree Arson: Treated as a Class 3 Felony.
3rd Degree Arson: Class 4 Felony if the damage is $1,500 or more. Can be considered a Class
1 misdemeanor if the damage is less than $1500 but more than $500. 3rd degree arson can also be treated as a Class 2 Misdemeanor if the damage
is below $500.
The prosecution may offer a plea deal to the accused to try to convince
them to simply take a lesser charge to avoid a prison sentence, but even
a lesser arson criminal charge can prevent someone from working in certain
fields or maintaining their constitutional freedoms.
Although police have a wealth of technology that they can use to asses
an arson crime scene, many arson convictions are based on highly circumstantial
forms of evidence. A jury must be fully convinced of the following facts
to secure an arson conviction:
- The defendant set fire to or burned a structure
- The act was willful and malicious
Fires are often the result of accidents or minor negligence such as plugging
too many devices into an outlet or leaving candles unattended. While a
person may have acted in a manner that allowed the fire to happen, this
is very different from committing arson, and an experienced criminal defense
lawyer can help prove to a jury that an incident lacked intent or malice.
The most common causes of fires in residential settings are: candles, smoking,
electrical malfunction, improper maintenance or operation of a washer/dryer,
lightning strikes, children playing with fire, and cooking accidents.
None of these is de facto arson, and individuals accused of arson should
not assume that their minor mistakes should turn them into felons. An
arson charge is a very serious matter, and an individual stricken with
grief over a fire may not fight for their rights to the full extent allowed by law.
We are Here to Help You Seek Justice. Speak with Our Legal Team Today.
At the Berry Law Firm, we have helped clients throughout Nebraska fight
for their rights and freedom for decades. We are committed to providing
client-focused services for all cases, no matter how complex they might
be. Let us put our 100+ years of combined legal experience to work for you.
Contact our Lincoln and Omaha arson attorneys
to start your free case consultation.