What are the consequences of an arson charge in Florida?

An arson charge is sure to lead to very serious punishment. However, while these charges may be harsh, it’s not impossible to fight them. If you’re facing an arson charge in Florida, you’ll need a skilled attorney on your team. At The Law Office of James M. Burns, we have dealt with these cases and know how to fight them with the aggression they require. Continue reading to learn more about these charges and then call our Pensacola arson lawyer.

Is committing arson in Florida a misdemeanor or a felony?

Arson is defined as setting fire to property, regardless of if it’s yours or someone else’s. Depending on the state, arson can be judged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. In Florida, arson is split into two categories: first-degree arson and second-degree arson. Yet, unlike in other states, both degrees of arson are felony charges. This means that the penalties you face are likely to be harsh, so you’ll need an experienced, aggressive attorney by your side so that you can stand a chance of fighting these charges.

What are the different penalties for committing arson in Florida?

As we’ve said above, Florida splits the charge of arson into two degrees, both of which are considered felonies. However, it’s important to understand the difference between these charges so that you can have an understanding of the penalties you may face and how you may defend yourself. The definitions and penalties of both first and second-degree arson are as follows:

  • First-degree arson – This is when a person intentionally and illegally uses fire to damage structures where people are usually present, structures that they know are occupied, or any dwelling.
    • The penalty – First-degree arson can carry with it a maximum prison sentence of 30 years or fines as high as $10,000.
  • Second-degree arson – This is when a person intentionally and illegally uses fire to damage property that is not included in first-degree arson.
    • The penalty – Second-degree arson can carry with it a maximum prison sentence of 15 years or fines as high as $10,000.

Understand that the penalties listed above only account for committing arson without having injured anyone. However, if an innocent bystander is injured or killed, your penalties will be more severe.

How can a Pensacola arson lawyer help me?

Arson is a serious charge that can carry very harsh penalties with it. If you’re fighting arson charges, then you must consult our Escambia County criminal defense lawyer. Facing arson charges alone most likely means being punished to the fullest extent of the law. Don’t take that risk, call us today.


The Law Office of James M. Burns helps people through various legal issues, including those involving criminal law, family law, personal injury law, and will & probate law. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.