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Rochester Minnesota Arson Defense Attorney
Arson Defense Lawyer Minnesota
In Minnesota, arson is the intentional and unlawful destroying or damaging of a building, or personal property, by means of fire or explosives. The severity of arson charges depends on the type of building that was burned, whether any other person was present in the building, whether an accelerant was used, the amount of damage caused, and whether the person was negligent in allowing the fire to get out of control. If you or a loved one has been charged with arson, contact our Rochester Minnesota Defense attorney(LINK) for a free evaluation of your case to see how we can help.
Categories of Arson in Minnesota
The Minnesota arson statutes contain seven separate offenses:
- Arson in the First Degree
- Arson in the Second Degree
- Arson in the Third Degree
- Arson in the Fourth Degree
- Arson in the Fifth Degree
- Wildfire Arson
- Negligent Fires
Arson in the First Degree
There are three separate crimes that can be charged as arson in the first degree:
- Arson of a Dwelling whether another person was present or not – Felony with a sentence of up to 20 years and/or a $20,000 fine;
- Arson of a building other than a dwelling if another person was present or there was a reasonable chance that another person could have been present – Felony with a sentence of up 20 years and/or a $35,000 fine;
- Arson of a building other than a dwelling if a flammable material was used to start or accelerate the fire – Felony with a sentence of up to 20 years and/or a $20,000 fine.
Arson in the Second Degree
Arson in the second degree involves arson of a (usually) unoccupied structure causing more than $1,000 in damage. It is a felony with a maximum penalty of up to ten years or to payment of a fine of not more than $20,000, or both.
Arson in the Third Degree
Arson in the third degree involves destroying or damaging real or personal property valued at more than $300 but less than $1,000. It is a felony with a maximum penalty of up to five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Arson in the Fourth Degree
Arson in the fourth degree involves destroying or damaging any personal property in a multiple-unit residential building or a public building when arson in the first, second, or third degree was not committed. It is a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.
Arson in the Fifth Degree
Arson in the fifth degree involves destroying or damaging any real or personal property, regardless of value. It is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Wildfire arson is the intentional setting of a fire of timber, underbrush, grass, or other vegetative combustible material to burn out of control on land of another. It is a felony with a maximum penalty of five years or to payment of a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Possession of incendiary devices intended to be used for wildfire arson is a separate gross misdemeanor crime.
Negligent fires involve grossly negligent behavior that causes a fire to burn out of control, causing damage or injuries. If as a result of these fires there is injury or great bodily harm to a human, the crime is a felony; if there is bodily harm to a human, the crime is a gross misdemeanor; and if only property is damaged, it is a misdemeanor.
Contact Us Today For a Free Consultation
Regardless of what type of arson crime you are charged with, contact our criminal defense attorney to see how we can help. We always offer free initial consultations to our clients. Call 507.206.6020 or complete our free case evaluation form.