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Breckenridge Arson Defense Lawyers

Skilled Legal Defense Against Breckenridge Arson Charges

Arson ranks among the most serious property crimes in Colorado. It can be defined as knowingly burning personal property without the consent of the owner or with unlawful intent. The degree of felony charges and severity of penalties for arson can depend on the circumstances surrounding the act. If you are facing arson charges in Breckenridge, it is in your best interests to speak with an experienced Summit County arson defense lawyer at Whitaker & Penix, LLC by calling (970) 368-0602 as soon as possible.

What Are the Different Degrees of Arson in Colorado?

Under state law, arson is classified in four different degrees:

  • First-degree arson occurs when a person knowingly sets fire to or burns an occupied building or structure without the owner’s permission. It applies to any type of structure that is occupied by a person or animal when the fire is started. First-degree arson is a Class 3 felony, punishable by a prison term of up to 12 years. If explosives were used, the maximum prison sentence is 16 years.
  • Second-degree arson is charged when a person burns someone else’s property other than an occupied building without consent of the owner. If the property burned was worth more than $100, this offense is charged as a Class 4 felony and carries up to six years in prison. If the property was worth less than $100, arson is a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in county jail and a fine of $1,000.
  • Third-degree arson is intentionally using fire or explosives to damage property with intent to defraud (such as burning property for the insurance proceeds). It is charged as a Class 4 felony, punishable by a prison term of up to six years.
  • Fourth-degree arson occurs when a person knowingly or recklessly sets a fire or creates an explosion that puts the life or property of another person at risk. If it puts a person in danger, this crime is charged as a Class 4 felony. If only property is endangered, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor if the property is worth more than $100 (punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $1,000), and a Class 3 misdemeanor if the property is worth less than $100 (punishable by a maximum six-month jail sentence and a $750 fine).

What Are Some Common Legal Defenses Against Arson Charges?

Legal defenses your Summit County criminal defense attorney raises will depend on the circumstances of your case. Common defenses against arson charges include the following:

  • The fire was started accidentally.
  • You did not act with criminal intent.
  • The fire was started by something other than arson, such as lightning or faulty wiring.
  • You were falsely accused and wrongfully arrested.
  • The prosecution has insufficient evidence to convict you.

How Can a Breckenridge Arson Defense Attorney Help?

Arson carries heavy penalties upon conviction. Our skilled criminal defense lawyer will know the right defense strategies to employ in your case. We will use the best legal defenses to cast reasonable doubt on the prosecution’s case against you. Experienced legal representation increases your chances of obtaining the best possible outcome.

Why Choose Us?

Our Breckenridge arson defense lawyers at Whitaker & Penix, LLC have years of trial experience. We are former prosecutors who use our knowledge gained on the other side of the courtroom to fight for our clients’ freedom. We provide hands-on, personalized representation to ensure you get the best defense possible.

If you are facing arson charges in Breckenridge, call us today at (970) 368-0602 to speak with an experienced Breckenridge violent crime defense attorney. We can explain your options and fight for your rights under the law.