ArsonLaws and Consequences in Missouri
Arson is typically classified as the act of damaging any building, dwelling, or property through use of fire or an explosion. Missouri has three levels of arson charges and three levels of charges which fall under the arson law and are based on burning or explosions.
Often arson cases are investigated by a bomb and arson squad which attempt to detect accelerants and other suspicious causes of damage. The length of the investigation may mean questioning or probing into the facts of the event before any charges are brought by the prosecutor. If that is the case it is important to call a St. Louis and St. Charles Missouri Arson Lawyer at the Krupp Law Firm to assist with the defense of your case starting from the beginning of the investigation.
Overview of Missouri Law on Arson Charges
Arson in the first degree: B to A Felony
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of arson in the first degree if he or she:
Knowingly damages a building or inhabitable structure, and when any person is then present or in near proximity thereto, by starting a fire or causing an explosion and thereby recklessly places such person in danger of death or serious physical injury; or
By starting a fire or explosion, damages a building or inhabitable structure in an attempt to produce methamphetamine.
In Missouri, Arson in the first degree is a class B felony unless a person has suffered serious physical injury or has died as a result of the fire or explosion set by the person or as a result of a fire or explosion started in an attempt by the person to produce methamphetamine, in which case arson in the first degree is a class A felony.
Arson in the second degree: D to B Felony
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of arson in the second degree if he or she knowingly damages a building or inhabitable structure by starting a fire or causing an explosion.
A person does not commit this offense if:
No person other than himself or herself has a possessory, proprietary or security interest in the damaged building, or if other persons have those interests, all of them consented to his or her conduct; and the person's sole purpose was to destroy or damage the building for a lawful and proper purpose.
The person accused of the crime has the burden of injecting the issue described above as a defense.
Arson in the second degree is a class D felony unless a person has suffered serious physical injury or has died as a result of the fire or explosion, in which case it is a class B felony.
Arson in the third degree: A Misdemeanor
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of arson in the third degree if he or she knowingly starts a fire or causes an explosion and thereby recklessly damages or destroys a building or an inhabitable structure of another.
Knowingly burning or exploding: E Felony
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of knowingly burning or exploding if he or she knowingly damages property of another by starting a fire or causing an explosion.
Reckless burning or exploding: B Misdemeanor
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of reckless burning or exploding if he or she recklessly starts a fire or causes an explosion and thereby damages or destroys the property of another.
Negligent burning or exploding: C Misdemeanor
In Missouri person commits the offense of negligent burning or exploding if he or she with criminal negligence causes damage to property or to the woodlands, cropland, grassland, prairie, or marsh of another by:
Starting a fire or causing an explosion; or Allowing a fire burning on lands in his or her possession or control onto the property of another.
How the Krupp Law Firm Helps your Arson Case:
The Krupp Law Firm closely looks at the evidence against you in your arson case right from the beginning with the idea that any criminal charge might go to trial. We analyze your defenses but also carefully study the scientific evidence involved, including any scientific evidence from the county crime lab, pieces of evidence that police have collected or anything that an arson and bomb squad has compiled. In the case where no formal charges have been filed the Krupp Law Firm can be with you to ensure that you are protected before the process goes to the next step.