Arson and Aggravated Arson are both covered under the same statute in New Jersey, N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1, with the major difference between the two charges being the element of recklessness versus the element of intent.
In Arson prosecutions, a person is charged with recklessly endangering others or their property.
Aggravated Arson is a much more serious charge, and alleges that you acted with purpose and knowledge.
Aggravated Arson charges are described by the following provisions:
A person commits aggravated arson when he starts a fire or causes an explosion, whether on his own property or another’s:
- Thereby purposely and knowingly placing another person in danger of death or bodily injury; or
- With the purpose of destroying a building or structure of another; or
- With the purpose of collecting insurance for the destruction or damage to such property under circumstances which recklessly place any other person in danger of death or bodily injury; or
- With the purpose of destroying or damaging a structure in order to exempt the structure, completely or partially, from the provisions of any State, county or local zoning, planning or building law, regulation, ordinance or enactment under circumstances which recklessly place any other person in danger of death or bodily injury; or
- With the purpose of destroying or damaging any forest.
Aggravated Arson is typically charged as a Second Degree Crime in New Jersey (5-10 year prison sentence), but there are circumstances where it can be charged as a First Degree Crime.
Attorney Matthew Reisig defends clients against even the most serious aggravated arson charges in New Jersey.
Call 732-625-9661 today for a free consultation.