What is the Law on Arson in Maryland and what are the Punishments for it?
There are so many people who simply love the comforts offered by a bonfire. They assume that the bonfire is fully controlled and cannot harm anything or anyone. However, fire can be also used in a destructive and malicious way irrespective of whether a person is hurt by such an act or not.
The act is referred to as arson and there are stringent penalties attached to it if the person is found guilty. In case a person thinks that no one can catch him/her if they set a fire on their restaurant, which is not doing well, simply for getting the insurance money, they should better rethink. Extremely advanced chemical techniques are used for analyzing and investigating arson, which is not easy to evade,
Apart from arson, the statute of Maryland also penalizes malicious and willful burning of someone else's private property These include a four-wheeler or any other item, which is not regarded as a structure or dwelling, Not only that, prosecutors in Maryland can charge the accused with an extra criminal offense besides arson in case he/she set a building on fire with an intention to defraud someone else like an insurer.
The basics of arson laws in Maryland
The section covers certain details about laws pertaining to malicious burning and arson in the state of Maryland including penalties and charges.
Categories of malicious burning and arson offer
It is considered as a felony, which can be penalized by the state courts for a maximum of 30 years behind the bars and a maximum fine of 50,000 USD. Such an arson refers to burning any occupied structure or a dwelling. The term dwelling is used to refer to a building, which is being used to sleep overnight. Plus, the definition of a structure in order to be within the scope of the 1st-degree arson also includes a tent, boat, as well as a tent.
Such arson penalizes a person for burning either a non-dwelling if only the structure was occupied or a dwelling structure. 2nd-degree arson punishes the convicted for burning any structure irrespective of whether it was occupied or not.
Both the above degrees of arson need evidence of malice wherein the prosecutor needs to establish that the fire was purposely set, as well as establishing that the act had a disregard for other people's safety and security.
It is an act of maliciously and willfully setting fire or even burning someone else's personal property.
The threat of arson in Maryland
Arson laws in the state of Maryland also include other less severe criminal offenses such as a threat of arson. It pertains to any written or verbal threat to set fire, burn, or explode a structure and is considered as a misdemeanor with a maximum prison sentence of ten years.
Penalties and sentences for arson in Maryland
In case a person is either under investigation or has been charged with arson or malicious burning, it makes sense to take the help of an experienced defense counsel.
First-degree arson: Damage more than 1,000 USD
Second-degree arson: Damage is less than 1,000 USD
When a person burns or sets fire to a property of any type, he/she may be put behind the bars for a maximum period of 5 years or/and a maximum fine of 5,000 USD apart from penalties for a malicious burning or an arson charge
First-degree arson: Regarded as a felony with a maximum prison term of 30 years or/and a maximum fine of 50,000 USD.
Second-degree arson: Regarded as a felony with a maximum of 20 years behind the bars or/and a maximum fine of 30,000 USD.
First degree malicious burning: Is also a felony and can lead to up to 5 years behind the bars or/and a maximum fine of 5,000 USD.
Second-degree malicious burning: Is regarded as a misdemeanor and can result in a maximum prison term of 18 months or/and fine of 500 USD.