What constitutes arson and malicious burning in Maryland?

| Apr 9, 2021 | Violent crimes

It is comforting to sit by a campfire or next to your fireplace. However, not all fires are so pleasant. A burning candle, a grease fire on the stove or electrical damage could all lead to a serious fire that can destroy a home or building. And, if it seems like the fire was set in a malicious or destructive manner, it could lead to accusations of arson.

Classifications of arson

There are a variety of arson crimes under Maryland law. First degree arson takes place when a person willfully and with malice sets fire to a home or building that has a person not connected to the crime in it. First degree arson is a felony crime and could lead to a prison sentence of up to 30 years and/or a fine of up to $50,000.

Second degree arson takes place when a person willfully and malice sets fire to a structure, whether they own the structure, or another owns the structure. Second degree arson is also a felony crime and could lead to a prison sentence of up to 20 years and/or a fine of up to $30,000.

Malicious burning

In addition to what we commonly know to be arson, Maryland law also recognizes a related crime: malicious burning. First degree malicious burning takes place when a person willfully and with malice sets fire to the personal property of another causing more than $1,000 in damages. First degree malicious burning is a felony crime and could lead to a prison sentence of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

Second degree malicious burning takes place when a person willfully and with malice sets fire to the personal property of another causing less than $1,000 in damages. Second degree malicious burning is a misdemeanor crime that could lead to a jail sentence of up to 18 months and/or a fine of up to $500.

Learn more about arson in Maryland

Ultimately, this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about property crimes in Maryland may find our firm’s website to be a useful resource.