From youthful mistakes to a fascination with fire, the resulting amount of property damage will determine the nature of the charge. These range from misdemeanor offenses for spraying graffiti to a first-degree felony when a fire damages a home, office building or somewhere else that people may be present.
A conviction on an arson charge can take away your liberty. The maximum prison sentence is 30 years. You also need to take seriously misdemeanor property damage, because a criminal record could affect you or your child's future opportunities.
In Escambia County, Baldwin County and the surrounding Gulf Coast communities, a call to Pensacola defense attorney James M. Burns can protect your rights. After almost 20 years of representing those accused of criminal offenses, he can offer practical advice and get you the best possible solution.
Criminal Mischief, Graffiti And Arson
In Florida, when willful or negligent conduct damages the property of someone else, it is generally a crime. Here are some of the offenses along with the consequences of a conviction:
- Even minor damage up to $200 can carry a jail sentence of up to 60 days. As the value of the property damaged increases, this charge can turn into a felony ($1,000 is a rather low threshold).
- Graffiti charges carry mandatory minimum fines based on the whether there are prior offenses. Community service is almost always ordered as well.
- Arson, whether damage is caused by fire or explosion, is almost always going to result in felony charges.
Depending on the facts of the cases, defenses might exist. Lawyer James M. Burns is a skilled litigator who can recommend when to negotiate a plea and when to fight a case all the way to trial.
When you have an existing conviction on your record, sealment or expungement might wipe the slate clean helping with a job or apartment search.
Schedule a free initial consultation by calling 850-462-8423 or sending an email. Learn what options exist to deal with the matter.