If you have been charged with Arson, here is some information to know and consider in seeking legal advice with Emma Turnbull Lawyers.
There are several different types of offending that fall under the umbrella of arson offences – essentially the relevant offence must be committed by destroying or damaging property by fire. Elements of the offence
For the prosecution to prove the offence of Arson, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt all the elements of the offence:
- The elements of the relevant criminal damage offence must be established; and
- The damage or destruction occurred by fire; and
- That the accused intended to damage or destroy the property by fire.
Will I have to go to court?
Criminal damage by fire (otherwise known as arson) can be heard in either the Magistrates’ Court, the County Court or the Supreme Court depending on the facts of the case and the value of the damage caused to property or harm to a person as a result of the fire.
Once the case goes to court, it is up to the prosecution to prove all the elements of the offence. It is important that you seek expert legal advice to prepare your defence and to represent you in court as this offence carries a significant maximum sentence of imprisonment.
Section 197(7) Crimes Act 1958 (Vic) outlines the maximum penalty of 15 years of this offence.
What sentences are usually given?
From 2015-16 to 2019-20, the average length of imprisonment for cases of arson was 2 years and 4 months.
The median imprisonment length was 9 years and sentences ranged from 1 year and 5 months to 13 years and 6 months, and non-parole periods ranged from 2 years to 10 years.
What do I do now?
To ensure the best chance of a successful defence, it is important to get in contact with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible. At Emma Turnbull Lawyers, we have experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist you in defending this charge.