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Does arson require intent? 

On Behalf of | Mar 13, 2022 | Violent crimes

Arson is the act of setting fire to another structure, and it is often done either with the intent of causing damage and harm or with the intent of defrauding an insurance company. If you’ve been accused of arson, it’s a very serious charge and you need to consider all aspects of it.

One thing you may want to consider is whether or not you ever had any intent to start that fire. An accident is not the same as an intentional criminal act. Arson requires that you knowingly take this step and have some intent to either cause harm or commit fraud, so your intent could play a big role in the conviction – or in getting your case overturned.

Is it still illegal without intent?

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t broken any laws if you didn’t have intent. At best, they may claim that you are negligent and you accidentally started a fire. They may also point out that you did something else illegal that caused the fire, depending on the circumstances of the case, even if you never intended to set anything ablaze.

In this sense, claiming that you didn’t have intent doesn’t mean that you’re going to get all of the charges dropped, but it does mean that you can’t be convicted of arson itself. This is likely the most serious charge that you’re facing, so attacking it head-on like this may allow you to plead guilty to a lesser charge or get all of your charges dropped entirely.

Exploring your legal options

Charges like this can have a drastic impact on the rest of your life. It’s very important that you explore all of your legal options and that you know what steps to take if you’ve been charged with arson.