Arson is defined under Illinois law as a person who knowingly damages any property having a value of $150 or more. Arson is considered a Class 2 felony having consequences ranging from 3 to 7 years in prison. Probation can sometimes be an alternative consequence. If you are accused of arson in Chicago it is imperative to secure the counsel of an experienced, aggressive arson defense lawyer.
Aside from simple arson, there are other types of arson with different related consequences. Chicago considers aggravated arson to be when the person knowingly sets fire to a building that has one or more people in it, the people suffer bodily harm or an official suffers an injury while containing the fire. This charge is considered a Calls X felony which can lead to 6 to 30 years in prison. Residential arson is a Class 1 felony and is when a person knowingly damages the dwelling of another person. Charges can carry a 4 to 15 year prison sentence. You may also be charged with criminal possession of explosive devices, a Class 1 felony punishable by 4 to 30 years. This charge also has a mandatory prison sentence. The crime is possessing any explosive or detonating device while committing a crime. Every situation is unique and every detail is considered when determining charges. Other extenuating circumstances such as previous convictions, the injury of a firefighter, police officer or other emergency personnel, or the damage to multiple structures can also have enhancements placed on the punishment, resulting in a longer sentence.
Illinois requires condo associations to maintain various types of fire safety equipment in common areas and commercial spaces. Specifically, Chicago has increased staffing to enforce regulations. Associations and building owners are required to have ample fire extinguishers, emergency lights, and exit signs. A fire safety technician must inspect these and ensure they are certified and properly maintained. Owners and associations can face serious penalties in Chicago for arson if a fire does occur. One of the main consequences facing owners is a negligence lawsuit that will try to blame building owners for any person injured or killed because of a fire caused on the property. Owners should not be held liable if someone intentionally causes a fire in the community space. Being charged with any lawsuit can leave devastating consequences for building owners who may have a harder time later on maintaining ownership of the building and other future buildings. It is crucial to consult with a Chicago arson defense attorney to review your options.
At Okabe & Haushalter, we are compassionate to the need for tenacious legal defense if you are currently facing criminal charges of arson. Successful criminal convictions can forever hinder and cripple you, leaving you not only with long-lasting punishments but also the permanent mark on your criminal record. Our legal team has a reputation for creative, aggressive defense; if you choose to work with us, you can breathe easier knowing that we are doing everything possible to defend your rights.
Contact Okabe & Haushalter today to receive your initial case consultation.
The Chicago arson defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter are ready to fight to tooth and nail for you. You have most likely heard of our firm from our television appearances, newspaper articles and other media from the national and international covered cases we have handled.
High-profile criminal defense cases deserve major league legal representation. The quality of your legal counsel can often make the difference between maintaining or losing your freedom. Do not take chances when it comes to choosing the right lawyer. To learn more about how our team of Chicago arson defense attorneys can help, contact the legal team at Okabe & Haushalter and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.