Fourth Degree Arson (N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1(c)) is also known as Failure to Control or Report Dangerous Fire.
The charge occurs when a person knows that a fire is endangering life or a substantial amount of property of another.
Furthermore, one either fails to take reasonable measures to put it out or bring it under control.
This is when they can do so without putting themselves in jeopardy, or fail to promptly report the fire.
The law also creates two conditions, one of which must be true.
First, if you are under an official, contractual, or other legal duty to combat a fire.
Second, if you started the fire lawfully on your property, or property in your custody.
Fourth degree arson can happen in a number of ways. These ways range from a barbecue gone awry to burning a leaf pile without adequate supervision.
NJ Criminal Defense Lawyer For Fighting Penalties For Fourth Degree Arson Charges
Penalties For fourth degree arson charges can be steep. It’s a felony offense, with a maximum sentence of 18 months and fines of up to $10,000, plus a strong likelihood of paying restitution for any property damaged.
As with any criminal charge, there are defenses. You should never submit to police interview about a fire that got out of hand without an attorney present.
Arson prosecutions are taken very seriously. Saying the wrong thing to police can result in a more significant charge than Fourth Degree Arson.
If you’ve been charged under 2C:17-1(c), don’t wait to get legal help.
Call MatthewReisig today at 732-625-9661 and talk to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for free.