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What is the Law on Arson in Arizona and What are the Punishments for it?

Even a casual glance into the crime scene will reveal that there are several types of crimes and the degrees of these offenses vary widely as well. But arson is a crime that is very much different from all other crimes in the sense that this crime causes untold hardships and misery to hordes of people.

That is why the crime of arson is considered very serious in almost all the states of the USA including in Arizona. Let us now look at Arizona arson laws and the punishments awarded to perpetrators of this crime.

Arson in Arizona - a felony

Arson has been categorized under felony in the state of Arizona. As far as the definition of arson according to Arizona state laws is concerned, it is the criminal act of a person who deliberately and knowingly damages a property, a structure, or wild-land area. The person should cause an explosion or a fire for carrying out this act.

Arizona Arson Law
To quote an example, if a person purposely starts a fire or causes an explosion and damages the structure or a property of another person, or if he or she damages his or her own structure or property by setting it on fire with an aim to collect insurance proceeds, he or she is said to have committed a crime of arson.

There are a few other types in this crime and they are arson of a structure that is occupied, reckless burning, and arson of a prison facility or a jail that is occupied. In general, a person is said to commit the crime of reckless burning if he or she causes an explosion or fire that may result in damages to a structure, a structure that is occupied, a property, or wildland. Reckless burning is different from knowingly committing arson of a structure that is occupied.

If a person unlawfully and knowingly causes damages to a structure that is occupied by knowingly and deliberately causing an explosion or fire, it is arson of a structure that is occupied. Likewise, a person is said to commit arson of a prison facility or a jail that is occupied by knowingly and deliberately causing an explosion or fire resulting in physical damages to them.

Arson Law

Penalty clauses in arson laws of Arizona

  • Arson committed on a structure comes under Class 4 Felony. Punishment for this is imprisonment for a minimum period of 18 months.
  • Arson committed on a property that is valued over $1,000 comes under Class 4 Felony also. Punishment for this is a prison term for a minimum period of 18 months.
  • Arson committed on a property that is valued between $100 and $1,000 has been put under Class 5 Felony. Penalty for this crime is a prison term for a minimum period of 9 months.
  • Arson committed on a property the value of which is below $100 comes under Class 1 Misdemeanor. Punishment for this is prison term for a period not exceeding 6 months along with probation for a period of 3 years and a fine of $2,500 + surcharges.
  • Arson committed on a structure that is occupied has been put in the category of Class 2 Felony. Penalty for this is a prison term for a minimum period of 4 years.
Arson Law Arizona
  • Arson committed on a prison facility or jail that is occupied is a Class 4 Felony. Punishment for this is a prison term for a minimum period of 18 months.
  • Burning Wildlands is also arson and if it is committed with negligence and with criminal intentions, it comes under Class 2 Misdemeanor. Penalty for this is a prison term that does not exceed 4 months along with probation for 2 years and a fine of $750 plus surcharges.
  • If a person commits the arson of burning wildlands recklessly, he or she is considered to commit a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Punishment for this is a prison term not exceeding 6 months along with probation for a period of 3 years and a fine of $2,500 plus surcharges.
  • Committing the arson of burning wildlands intentionally comes under Class 6 Felony. Punishment for this is a prison term for a minimum period of 1.5 years.
  • If a person burns wildlands intentionally and if he or she puts another person or structure in danger during the act, he or she is committing a Class 3 Felony. Penalty for this arson crime is a prison term for a minimum period of 5 years.
  • Cross burning committed unlawfully comes under Class 1 Misdemeanor. The penalty for this is a prison term for a period not exceeding 6 months along with probation of 3 years and a fine of $2,500 plus surcharges.
  • Symbol burning committed unlawfully has been put under the category of Class 1 Misdemeanor. Punishment for this is a prison term that does not exceed 6 months along with probation of 3 years and a fine $2,500 plus surcharges.

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