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Defending against an arson accusation

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2023 | Violent Crimes

Arson is a serious crime where a person’s property is intentionally destroyed by fire. If you are accused of this crime, the prosecution must demonstrate several elements to find you guilty.


First, the arson must have been intentional. This means that you set fire to a structure, dwelling or property on purpose. Property can include buildings, homes, vehicles or other places used for shelter.

You must also either own, possess, or control the burned property and you must have intended for the fire to cause damage, harm or injury. If you are accused of destroying the property by arson to collect insurance money, for example, they may also need to prove that you had an intent to defraud.


There are several defenses that may be available to you, however these will vary depending on the circumstances of your case. If you can prove that you did not have an intent to commit a crime, that may be a defense. This may apply where the fire was caused by an accident, for example.

If there is insufficient evidence to find you guilty of the crime, that may also help your case. For example, if witnesses are not reliable or there were errors in how evidence was handled.

If you can prove that you were not present at the time the arson occurred or that you are not the person who committed the arson, you may use this as a defense, especially if you know the identity of the person who is set the fire and can present that to the court.