Arson is a very serious offense in the United States. While it was previously defined as the intentional burning of another’s dwelling, its definition has opened up to include the malicious burning of any property.
Oftentimes, the intent behind the burning is fraudulent. People looking to claim on their insurance and attain some sort of financial gain will intentionally set fire to their property. People also use arson to deliberately gain revenge on others who may have wronged them in the past. Another main motivating factor behind arsonists’ actions is to cover up other crimes.
The main demographic of arson offenders are juveniles. Typically they let out anger and frustration through setting fire to items and buildings. In 1996, they accounted for over half of the total arson arrests in the United States.
While arson is not defined as setting fire to property in an attempt to physically harm or kill another person, often times others will be harmed or will die as a result of this action. In 2007, $878 million in property was destroyed as a result of arson, and 295 lives were claimed by these malicious fires. Obviously, this offense can be quite dangerous and damaging.
In 2002, the clearance rate for arson was 16.5%, just above motor vehicle theft and burglary.
If you have been accused of committing arson, you will need a skilled and knowledgeable attorney to help you get cleared. Do not hesitate to contact the Milwaukee criminal defense lawyers of Hart Powell, S.C. at (414) 271-9595 to see how we can help you.