Arson / Aggravated Arson
The Fire and Explosion Investigation Bureau (FEIB) of the State Fire Marshal in Ohio investigates certain types of fires in the Buckeye State, such as those resulting in injuries, fires causing significant financial loss, and other suspicious fires. When any investigator suggests that arson may have been responsible for a fire Ohio, it can result in one or more parties facing very serious criminal charges.
While many fires are the result of certain accidents involving mechanical malfunctions or human oversight, arson is the intentional burning of a home, building, or some other type of property. Because arson cases rarely involve direct eyewitness accounts of alleged offenders starting fires, criminal charges instead rely on largely circumstantial evidence.
Arson Lawyer in Dayton, OH
If you or someone you know has been charged with arson, time is of the essence. It is in your best interest to obtain legal representation before making any kind of statement to authorities or investigators. Our lawyers can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (937) 356-3969 to schedule a free initial consultation.
The Joslyn Law Firm represents clients in Dayton and surrounding areas of Montgomery County, including Huber Heights, Kettering, and many others. Dayton arson attorney Brian Joslyn also defends people in nearby areas like Piqua and Troy in Miami County, Fairborn and Beavercreek in Greene County, and Springfield in Clark County. Contact us as soon as you can.
Arson Charges in Ohio
Under Ohio Revised Code § 2909.03, people may be charged with arson if they, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly cause or create a substantial risk of physical harm to any property of another without the other person’s consent. This crime is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Arson becomes a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000 if:
- The value of the property or the amount of the physical harm involved is $1,000 or more;
- The alleged offender causes or creates a substantial risk of physical harm to any property of the alleged offender or another, with purpose to defraud;
- The alleged offender causes or creates a substantial risk of physical harm to the statehouse or a courthouse, school building, or other building or structure that is owned or controlled by the state, any political subdivision, or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the state or a political subdivision, and that is used for public purposes;
- The alleged offender causes or creates a substantial risk of physical harm to any park, preserve, wildlands, brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, timberland, greenlands, woods, or similar real property that is owned or controlled by another person, the state, or a political subdivision without the consent of the other person, the state, or the political subdivision; or
- With purpose to defraud, the alleged offender causes or creates a substantial risk of physical harm to any park, preserve, wildlands, brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, timberland, greenlands, woods, or similar real property that is owned or controlled by the offender, another person, the state, or a political subdivision.
If the alleged offender causes or creates a substantial risk of physical harm, through the offer or the acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration, to any property of another without the other person’s consent or to any property of the alleged offender or another with purpose to defraud, arson becomes a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Aggravated Arson Charges in Dayton
While basic arson crimes involve cases limited to property damage with possible intent to defraud, charges can become much more severe when the fire involves possible injuries or occupied structures.
Alleged offenders may be charged with aggravated arson under Ohio Revised Code § 2909.02 if they, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly:
- Create a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person other than the alleged offenders; or
- Create, through the offer or acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration, a substantial risk of physical harm to any occupied structure.
Either of these actions constitutes a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. If an alleged offender, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly causes physical harm to any occupied structure, the crime is a second-degree felony punishable by up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Resources for Arson in Ohio
Fire Department | City of Dayton — The Dayton Fire Department has 12 stations around the city, with specific bureaus for emergency services, strategic programs and safety, and support services and resource management. You can find an organizational chart, escape plans, and answers to frequently asked questions on this website. Additional information includes a smoke alarm fact sheet, community services, and fire prevention resources.Fire Headquarters
300 North Main Street
Dayton, OH 45402
State Fire Marshal | Ohio Department of Commerce — Ohio’s Division of State Fire Marshal is the oldest established office of its kind in the United States. On this website, you can learn more about the State Fire Marshal Bureaus, find various guides and publications, and read recent news and reports. The website also features fire prevention, preparation, and safety tips.
Dayton Arson Attorney | Violent Crimes
If you believe that you may be the subject of an arson investigation or were recently arrested for allegedly committing arson in Ohio, you should immediately retain legal counsel. Brian Joslyn is an experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney who has been named one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the country by the National Trial Lawyers Association. Let him review your case by calling (937) 356-3969 or completing an online form to arrange a free, confidential consultation.
The Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients charged with property crimes all over the Dayton area as well as surrounding communities in Montgomery County, Clark County, Miami County, and Greene County. A conviction for arson can result in steep fines and prison time. It’s important to act quickly and contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible.