Arson in Virginia is a serious property crime. Which results in damaging of property by intentional set up of fire, and perhaps injury or loss of life. Thus, Virginia implements strict penalties.
Several motives are associated with this felony such as vandalism, excitement, revenge, crime concealment profit, and extremism.
Such testimony demands many scientific elements in order to prove intent, for example, the presence of accelerants and burn patterns. Which depends on fire and forensic experts.
Not only is the arsonist who undergoes punishment, but also the person who encourages the arsonist to commit the felony. He/she will be subject to offenses for aiding and abetting.
According to Virginia code, title 18.2, chapter 5, Arson crimes include burning or destroying:
Such as an occupied hotel, hospital, mental health facility or other houses a person dwells or lodge. Railroad car, boat, vessel, or river craft in which a person dwells or lodge. Might also be an occupied jail, prison, Church or a building owned or leased by a church adjacent to it.
The penalty includes imprisonment of no less than 5 years, and/or a fine of not more than $ 100,000.
This includes a meeting house, courthouse, townhouse, college, and an academy.
If the damage was done when someone was in the building then, the suspect is convicted or class 3 felony. And if the damage was done when the building was empty then, the suspect is convicted of class 4 felony.
Other Building or Structure,
This includes a bridge, lock, dam or other structure.
If the building is occupied then the suspect will be punished under class 3 felony. If the building is unoccupied and is of a value of $ 200 or more then the offense shall be under class 4 felony. If it is of value less than $ 200 then the suspect shall be guilty of class 1 penalties.
Personal Property, Standing Grain etc,
This sort of damage is usually done with intent to defraud an insurance company or other person. If the damage done is of $ 200 or more then the suspect shall be guilty of class 4 felony. If the damage done is of less than $ 100 then the suspect shall be guilty of class 1 misdemeanor.
Woods, Fences, or Grass or Other Things Capable of Spreading Fire on Land
The suspect under this offense is subject to class 6 felony.
There are also other crimes related to arson. For example, threats to bomb buildings or means of transportation. False information as to the danger to such buildings. Also, the manufacture of fire bombs or explosive materials.
Arsonist possible defenses include the lack of required intent to commit the felony. To act under force and not willfully. No fire was actually set. Lastly, false accusation.
In conclusion, Arson is a serious felony, which could result in imprisonment for life and a hefty fine. The aforementioned are the different cases of arson and penalties in Virginia.
If you need a Virginia Arson Lawyer to help you with your Arson case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia Arson Attorneys can help you. C