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What is the Law on Arson in North Dakota and what are the Punishments for it?

When a person has been charged with arson, vandalism, or destruction of a property, the financial consequences can be quite intimidating. Arson is regarded as a Class B felony and is an act wherein a person causes or starts a fire or an act leads to an explosion.

The accused had an intention of destroying either a part of or the entire inhabited structure of someone else or a building or a key public facility in North Dakota.

A person may be also found guilty when he either maintains or starts a fire or triggers an explosion having the intention of damaging or destroying his personal or real property in order to collect insurance money for the loss incurred. 

North Dakota Arson Law

When an explosion or fire is endangering 

  • When the accused purposefully maintains or starts a fire or triggers an explosion, thus recklessly:
  • Puts another individual in the risk of bodily injury or death
  • Leads to someone else's property damage and the loss from such an act is more than 2,000 USD
  • Puts a part of or the entire inhabited structure or building or any key public facility is in the risk of getting destroyed 
  • The crime is Class B felony when an individual puts another individual in the risk of death while the former's actions show complete indifference to the worth of human life. Else, it is regarded as a Class C felony.

Failure to report or control a dangerous fire

An individual can be convicted of Class A misdemeanor when he/she is aware of starting or maintaining a fire albeit lawfully or with his/her consent and is putting someone else's life is at risk or putting a large amount of property at risk when he/she does not succeed in taking adequate steps to control or put out the fire if doing the same is possible without causing a great risk to himself/herself or to raise a quick-fire alarm. 

Arson Law

Penalty for negligent act leading to a fire

In North Dakota, it is illegal for any individual to trigger the start of a fire through negligence in any portion of the lodging house, rooming house, motel, hotel, or any other public places that can endanger property or life to any extent or in any way.

  • If a person violates this section, he/she is charged with a Class B misdemeanor.
  • The fire marshal of the state will print, as well as, distribute the section's copies to all public places like lodging houses, rooming houses, motels, or hotels in the state of North Dakota.

Releasing destructive forces in North Dakota

  • An individual is charged with Class B felony when he/she purposefully triggers a catastrophe through anyways and can be charged with Class C felony when it is a willful act on his/her behalf.
  • An individual is charged with Class C felony when he/she purposely generates a catastrophe risk although there are no destructive outcomes like explosion or fire.
Arson Law North Dakota
  • An individual who indulges into an act knowing that it may lead to or which they know can lead to a catastrophe or gives consent of indulging in such an act can be charged with Class C felony when the person purposely fails in taking reasonable steps for preventing such a catastrophe or incident.
  • The term catastrophe here refers to severe bodily injury caused to a minimum of 10 or more people or causing significant damage to at least 10 separate property, structures or habitations wherein the loss is more than 500 USD. 

Criminal mischief in North Dakota

  • An individual is convicted of a criminal offense when he/she:
  • Purposely tampers with someone else's tangible property so as to put the property or the person's life at risk; or
  • Damages someone else's tangible property willfully

Such an offense is:

  • Class B felony when the accused purposely causes financial losses exceeding 10,000 USD
  • Class C felony when the defendant purposely causes financial losses amounting to more than 2,000 USD or damages someone else's tangible property by using a destructive device or an explosive, 
  •  Class A misdemeanor when the accused has recklessly caused financial losses of more than 2,000 USD or when he/she has purposely caused a financial loss from 100 USD to 2,000 USD

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