Arson is a property crime involving the destruction of someone else’s property. It is one of the most serious property crimes in North Carolina.
But this is a crime that is often an accident—and if you are charged with an offense that was unintentional or that happened through no fault of your own, you need someone who will advocate for your innocence and protect your rights throughout the process.
If you have been charged with arson, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you—one who knows the best possible plea for your situation.
At Wilson & Reives, our criminal attorneys have decades of experience helping people charged with arson and other criminal offenses. We’re here to defend your rights and develop the best defense strategy for your particular circumstances.
What is arson?
Arson describes the act of deliberately setting fire to a building or other property. In North Carolina, there are three different charges for crimes related to arson.
- First-degree arson refers to the deliberate burning of an occupied home
- Second-degree arson is the deliberate burning of an unoccupied building
- Arson-related crime is an offense that involves the deliberate burning of personal property
All three charges are classified as felonies.
Call (919) 775-5653 or contact us and set up a consultation to speak with one of our experienced attorneys about your case.
You don’t even have to set fire to someone else’s property to be charged with an arson-related crime. Deliberately setting fire to your own property is enough to get you in trouble with the authorities.
How can a criminal defense attorney help you with an arson charge?
Because arson is such a serious crime in North Carolina, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to handle your case. He or she can give you advice and help you make decisions during several crucial points in the process:
• After arrest
It is best to contact a criminal defense attorney immediately after your arrest. If you are booked into jail, one of your family members can contact an attorney for you. Hiring an attorney early in the process can help you avoid problems with police officers, corrections officers, or other law-enforcement officials.
• During case investigation
If it looks like your case will go to trial, a criminal defense attorney will work hard to gather evidence and prepare a strong defense against the charges. Your attorney can also hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf. This is especially important in an arson case because the prosecutor will probably rely heavily on physical evidence to make a case against you. An expert witness may be able to show that the fire was an accident caused by faulty wiring or another type of electrical hazard.
• Presenting your defense strategy
Your criminal defense attorney will review all of the options available in your case and then choose the one that makes the most sense. If you started the fire accidentally, your attorney may be able to introduce evidence that shows you did not deliberately set fire to someone else’s property. If you did not set the fire, your attorney will try to persuade the jury that you are not guilty of the arson charge.
• Giving trial guidance
Participating in a criminal trial can be overwhelming, especially if you’ve never been involved in a legal matter. Before your trial starts, your criminal defense attorney will explain everything that is about to happen. With an experienced attorney at your side, you won’t have to worry about learning complicated jargon or making a serious mistake. Your attorney will handle everything from questioning potential jurors to submitting evidence.
Why should I hire a criminal defense attorney?
If you have been charged with arson, the most important thing you can do is hire a dedicated criminal defense attorney who has experience handling arson cases. At Wilson & Reives, you’ll meet with one of our attorneys and discuss your case in detail before making any decisions.