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When someone intentionally burns a house or building, he or she can be charged with arson.

In New Hampshire, officials consider arson to be a crime that can be quite serious if there’s a lot of damage or even injuries. Just how serious of a crime you’ll face depends on the facts of the case.

At any rate, you should immediately contact criminal defense lawyer Michael Anzalone.

What is the Punishment for Arson?

If you knowingly start a fire, or cause an explosion, in New Hampshire, law enforcement officials can charge you with arson. Under the state’s statutes _ RSA 634:1 _ suspects can be charged either with a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the fire.

All arson cases, by state law, fall under destruction of property. You can be charged with arson only if you started the fire or caused the explosion that damaged someone else’s property.

Again, depending on the circumstances, the charges can be increased for a number of reasons. One of them is if the home or the building was a historical structure or was occupied by people. In those cases, you could face 7½ to 15 years in prison. And, likewise, if it is determined that the building was burned for the sole purpose of collecting insurance money, the judge can send you to jail for 3½ to 7 years in prison. Also this punishment applies if the damage exceeds $1,000.

Your criminal defense attorney will also describe to you the difference between a felony and misdemeanor arson charge. You can be charged with Class A felony arson if, as described previously, the fire or explosion you started damaged either an occupied or historic structure. It’s also key for you to understand that under New Hampshire’s statutes, a home could be vacant at the time and still be considered an occupied structure.

It’s a Class B felony if you intentionally set the fire or caused an explosion causing more than $1,000 in damage.

Anyone convicted of either a Class A or Class B felony could be sentenced to jail time, in addition to fines.

You might wonder what officials consider a misdemeanor arson charge. A misdemeanor is, of course, deemed less serious than the felony arson charges. If you’ve been charged with a Class A misdemeanor, you could still face up to 12 months in jail, depending on the circumstances of the case. A Class B misdemeanor charge does not carry jail time, but you could still be fined.

How Your Lawyer Might Help You

The state fire marshal determines the cause fires and will alert officials it if is considered to be caused by arson, or intentionally set.

Your lawyer may hire an expert witness to evaluate those findings and testify that the fire or explosion wasn’t caused by arson. These are ideas that you’ll want to talk over with your attorney.

If you are facing an arson charge, you’ll want to contact The Anzalone Law Firm in Nashua, New Hampshire. Criminal defense lawyer Michael Anzalone will help you get the best possible outcome for your case.

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Great lawyer...Professional, organized, caring and effective. Michael is very informative and was always willing to explain the reasons behind what was being done. Can't say enough about how helpful he was every step of the way. It was really nice to feel like I actually understood what was going on with my case. Catherine Veilleux