What is the Law on Arson in Oklahoma and What are the Punishments for it?
The state of Oklahoma defines arson as purposely and malevolently setting a fire or an attempt to set fire to someone’s property. Arson is a serious crime that has severe consequences and is considered a very destructive act. Burning a home or property and in the process killing people and animals is indeed a very serious crime.
A stealthy act
Arson is also a crime that involves a high degree of stealth. What motives an arsonist is not very clear but, in most cases, it includes malevolence as well as tedium. Most arsonists are people with a history of mental illness while others commit the crime to gain a monetary advantage.
It is common for someone to burn an old building in order to claim insurance. Typically, arson involves setting fire to a building after an argument or to cover up another crime. Arsonists want to destroy homes and kill people and animals and they also want to ruin your life. Victims of arson need to get justice fast.
Various degrees of arson in Oklahoma
The state of Oklahoma classifies arson in various degrees. The severity of the crime will decide the degree of arson that the offender is charged with. First-degree arson is the most severe type and it has serious implications on the quantum of punishment as well as bail terms.
First-degree arson in Oklahoma
First-degree arson in Oklahoma is a very serious crime. It involves willfully and maliciously setting fire to, or causing a structure to burn down, either entirely or partially with the help of explosive devices, accelerants, ignition devices or anything similar. The building that was set on fire must have been inhabited at the time the fire was started for the crime to be classified as first-degree arson.
First-degree arson is a felony and invites serious punishment. If convicted, the offender can be sent to prison for a term of up to 35 years and/or fined up to 25, 000 dollars. In some cases, the offender may be fined as well as jailed.
Second-degree arson in Oklahoma
Second-degree arson has many similarities to first-degree arson. The main difference is that in second-degree arson, the fire was caused when there were no persons within the building that was set on fire. However, in case the building was being lived in, setting fire to such building could lead to charges of first-degree arson.
Second-degree arson is also a felony and is punished severely. The maximum jail time that the offender may have to spend after being convicted for second-degree arson is 25 years. They may also be fined up to 20, 000 dollars or they may be jailed and also fined at the same time.
Third-degree arson in Oklahoma
Third-degree arson is a crime in which the offender burnt down a property whose value was at least 50 dollars and the fire was started with the help of an explosive device.
The property burnt down could be a car, truck, trailer, motorcycle or boat or even standing farm crops. This crime is also a felony and invites a prison sentence of up to 15 years and/or a fine of up to 10, 000 dollars, or both prison time and a fine.
Fourth-degree arson in Oklahoma
Fourth-degree arson involves any attempt to set fire to a property. The attempt may include the use of an accelerant or explosive device or even some plain matches. Fourth-degree arson is also considered a felony in the state of Oklahoma and invites punishment of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of 5000 dollars, or both.
Oklahoma is a state that considers arson to be a very serious crime. If convicted, you will have to suffer serious consequences including spending long years behind bars. What’s more, it can change the trajectory of your life. Arson leaves many scars on the victim and is dealt with severely under Oklahoma arson laws.