There are numerous property crimes that are codified under the criminal law of Massachusetts, including a number of offenses having to do with arson. People who are convicted of these offenses may face thousands of dollars in fines, long terms of imprisonment and restitution orders.People who are convicted of maliciously burning a dwelling or who assist others in burning a dwelling may face two and one-half years in prison and fines of up to $10,000. They may also face the same potential punishments if they burn meeting houses or churches. It does not matter if the buildings are vacant or if the people who set fire to them own them.
People who are convicted of maliciously setting fire to the woods may face up to three years in prison or a fine of $500 and one year of imprisonment. If they are convicted of wantonly or recklessly starting fires in the woods or of causing them to spread, they may face up to two years in prison and a fine of $1,000. People who negligently set fires that spread to the property of others may face up to two years in prison or fines of up to $1,000. If the fire is negligently set on another’s property in town, injuring someone, people who are convicted may face fines of $100 and imprisonment of one month in jail. They will also be liable to pay all damages that are caused by the fire.
When a person is facing arson charges, talking to an experienced criminal defense attorney may be beneficial. Criminal convictions may result in harsh penalties. Attorneys may be able to negotiate lighter sanctions for their clients. They might also be able to secure dismissals when there are problems with how the evidence was gathered.