Arson Lawyer Winnipeg
What is Arson?
Arson offences cover situations where someone is intentionally or recklessly causing harm or damage by fire or explosive. The court takes arson offence very seriously due to the unpredictable and destructive nature of fire to human life and property. Even the most minor arson offence can attract a jail sentence.
There are 5 different arson offences:
- Intentionally or recklessly setting a fire that causes bodily harm or being reckless as to whether the property is inhabited.
- Intentionally or recklessly setting fire that causes damage to another person’s property.
- Intentionally or recklessly setting fire to your own property where the fire seriously threatens the health, safety, or property of another person.
- Intentionally setting fire to your own property with the intent of committing fraud.
- Recklessly letting a fire get out of control which causes bodily harm to another person.
Sentencing For Arson
Th sentencing range varies widely depending on the circumstances of the offence. In the most minor circumstance an offender can receive a suspended sentence, fines or probation. For serious arson matters, where there was injuries to other or substantial property damage, an offender could face a maximum jail sentence of 5 years, 14 years, or LIFE. The offender is usually order by the court to pay compensation for the damage caused to the property.
Additionally, being found guilty of arson can have a significant impact on your future employment opportunities and ability to travel. As part of an employer’s hiring process, potential employees are often required to provide a criminal record check. Most employers will not hire anyone with a record for arson as that would make him or her not bondable.
If you have a record for arson, US Customs will refuse you entry on the basis of you having committed a crime of moral turpitude. You would only be allowed entry after reviving a US Entry, which involves a complex application process, is expensive, and can take a long time to be processed.
Defending Arson Charges
Fire investigations are very complex. Officers with specialized training in forensic fire and explosive investigations are usually relied upon by the police to determine how the fire started. The Crown will call these same officers as experts in an attempt to prove the arson charge. Fortunately, their expertise can be challenged, exposing their flawed and unscientific fire investigation techniques.
In order to be convicted, the Crown needs to prove that you intentionally or recklessly started the fire. Sometimes the defence of accident can be raised. I will thoroughly every aspect of your case to determine all possible defences available.
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