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What is the Law on Arson in Iowa, and what are the Punishments for it?

Arson covers causing an explosion or a fire, placing an inflammatory or combustible material, an explosive device near a property to destroy or cause harm to a property, with the awareness that the property has the likeliness to be damaged or destroyed. The property may be destroyed or not be destroyed.

But, when the property owner had the consent to defender's acts, and the insurer has not been falsely exposed to any risk, and the act had no intention to cause harm to the property or life of the other person. But, when the defendant causes an explosion or fire, which damages or causes harm to the property while making a controlled substance, then the defendant also commits Arson.

Arson in the first degree is classified under a class B felony act and takes place when one or more persons are likely to be inside or near the property or when Arson causes the death of a firefighter. When the property is damaged, and it is worth more than five hundred dollars [personal property], or it's a building, real property, crops, or real structure, it's a crime. It is a second-degree class C felony. Arson is also a third-degree aggravated crime when the crime is higher than the one qualified by the other two criteria.

Iowa Arson Law

Arson in Iowa

When the person burns a property on purpose, it is called Arson. Many states, including Iowa, consider it as Arson when the building insured was damaged on purpose to claim insurance amount. In other words, the damage was done on purpose. Arson crime can lead to high fines and imprisonment. In case you are a victim of a crime under Arson, you can take the help of a defense lawyer, who can help you achieve the best possible results.

Below are the types of Arson crimes:

  • First-degree Arson.
  • Second-degree Arson.
  • Third-degree Arson.
  • Uncontrolled use of fire and explosives.
  • Possession of inflammable or explosive materials and devices.
  • Attempts or threats
  • Wrong reports
Arson Law

Arson in the First Degree in Iowa

Arson in the first degree comes under class B felony, which is punishable by imprisonment of a maximum 25 years.

Arson in the Second Degree in Iowa

Arson happening in a structure, building or property or personal property of more than $500 is classified as Arson in the second degree. This is a class C felony and is punishable by up to one decade of imprisonment and a fine of $1000 to $10,000.

Arson in the Third Degree in Iowa

Arson in the third degree is an aggravated crime and includes lower level charges linked with Arson. It happens because of reckless misconduct and not damage to a property on purpose. Third-degree Arson is classified under a nonviolent act and a lower degree of punishment. The aggravated third-degree Arson can cause two years of prison and a fine of $625 to $6,250.

Arson Law Iowa

Possible Defences for Arson in Iowa

A strong defense is necessary in any criminal case. The following are common defenses to arsons:

  • Mistaken / false identity
  • Alibi
  • Property owner’s consent

Below are the details of consent under the Iowa Code for Arson:

According to Iowa Code 712.1, the person can’t be charged with Arson if the owner of the damaged property consents to the explosion or the fire.

  • There was no insurer fraudulently exposed to the risk.
  • The explosion or fire occurred to endanger the property or life of the person.
  • The property owner consented to the explosion or the fire.

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