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Arson Crimes

Our Law Firm Has Successfully Handled Thousands of Criminal, DWI, and Municipal Court Charges Throughout Union County and New Jersey.

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Proetta & Oliver

Union County NJ Arson Defense Lawyers

Arson Charge Attorneys in Cranford NJA conviction for arson anywhere in New Jersey, including in Union County, can have devastating consequences for both your immediate life circumstances and your long-term future. First of all, since arson is always classified as a felony-level crime, you will be subject to penalties that include years in prison and fines totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. Making matters worse for defendants in these cases is that NJ prosecutors are notoriously reluctant to offer plea deals that allow for probation. This means that if you are convicted of arson or plead guilty to an arson charge, you will very likely have to serve a substantial prison sentence. Likewise, there are facts and circumstances that significantly enhance arson crimes and the associated penalties. For instance, if someone is injured or placed in danger of imminent injury due to the act, a precarious legal situation becomes significantly worse.

Have you or a loved one been charged with arson? Our firm exclusively handles criminal charges like arson and aggravated arson and we are here to assist with your defense. Our lawyers defend clients accused of committing arson throughout Union County, including in Scotch Plains, Linden, Cranford, Mountainside, Clark, Hillside, Kenilworth, and Elizabeth. To discuss your case and get answers to your pressing questions before deciding how to handle it, call (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation. You can also send us a message to get in touch with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who can help protect your best interests.

Understanding Arson and Aggravated Arson in New Jersey

Arson is one of the most serious offenses covered in the New Jersey criminal code. The offense is specifically addressed by statute N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, which divides arson into two categories: ordinary arson and aggravated arson.

Basic Arson Charge

The ordinary charge for arson typically involves a defendant who purposely starts a fire or causes an explosion in one of the following circumstances:

Upgraded Charges for Aggravated Arson

Aggravated arson will be the charge if the defendant is accused of starting a fire or causing an explosion in any of the following circumstances:

One of the main differences between an ordinary arson charge and an aggravated arson charge is that aggravated arson typically requires the prosecution to prove an “intent” element. Specifically, the prosecutor will need to show that you actually meant to jeopardize the life or well-being of another person when you started the fire. By contrast, your intent might not matter when it comes to a typical arson charge. This is because the NJ criminal code stipulates that a person can be charged with arson if they either intentionally “or recklessly” started a fire. In other words, you may not have intended for a fire to get out of hand and cause so much damage, but your negligence and failure to anticipate the harm caused may be enough for prosecutors to charge you with arson under the criminal statute.

How Long does Someone go to Jail for Arson in NJ?

As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, arson is always considered a felony offense in New Jersey. Felonies are known as indictable crimes under the New Jersey criminal code. This means that a person charged with arson or aggravated arson must first be indicted by a grand jury. After an indictment has been issued, the case is then sent to the superior court located in the county where the arson offense allegedly occurred. So, if you have been arrested and charged with arson in Union County, your case will be sent to Union County Superior Court to be litigated or otherwise disposed of. The grades of the various charges for arson in New Jersey can be broken down as follows:

The most serious criminal charge covered by the arson statute is first degree arson, and the most serious variation of a first degree arson charge involves the intentional burning of a church or other place of worship. In these cases, the law provides for an enhanced penalty that includes a minimum mandatory term of incarceration of 15 years before the convicted offender will become eligible for release on parole.

Defense Attorneys for Clients Charged with Arson in Elizabeth NJ

Arson is one of the most serious criminal charges that a person can face in New Jersey. Not only could you be facing a lengthy prison sentence on the basis of arson accusations, but you may also be subject to additional penalties if other criminal charges are filed against you in connection with the arson. For instance, insurance fraud is a common offense accompanying arson. The seriousness of this situation demands that you speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A qualified criminal lawyer can potentially help you fight your arson charges and stay out of prison. Your defense may require lab testing and inspection of evidence, analysis of the chain of custody with respect to evidence being used by the prosecution, tough cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, and expert testimony about the nature of the fire and the likelihood that it was set intentionally.

If you are under investigation for setting a fire or enlisting someone else’s help to do so, the best decision you can make right now is to speak with an attorney who knows how to defend clients against arson charges in New Jersey. A conviction could permanently alter the course of your life and your family’s life, so protecting yourself from day one is crucial. Contact (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation with a defense lawyer today.

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Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have office locations conveniently located in Jersey City, Edison, Middletown, Cranford, Burlington, and Hamilton. All major credit cards are accepted


242 10th Street Suite 103 Jersey City, NJ 07302

Phone: (201) 793-8018

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3840 Park Ave, Suite 202 A, Edison NJ 08820

Phone: (732) 659-9600

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20 Commerce Drive, Room 135 Cranford, NJ 07016

Phone: (908) 838-0150

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