Arson – What is it and what are the consequences?

July 12, 2018

‘Arson’ is the criminal act of deliberately setting fire to property. There are a number of different offences that fall under arson, including simple arson, arson (being reckless as to whether life is endangered) and arson with intent to endanger life.

Simple Arson

Simple arson is where someone causes criminal damage by fire, e.g. setting fire to a shed, car or commercial properties. It’s treated extremely seriously and, if serious damage is caused can be sentenced with life imprisonment.  If minor damage caused, the matter could be dealt with in the Magistrates’ court – with the most lenient sentences being by way of a community order.

Reckless Arson

The ‘reckless’ in this offence is to do with whether you are reckless to any life being endangered, rather than the recklessness of actually setting the fire. Examples of this could be setting fire to a room or flat in a communal building or setting fire to public transport. This extremely serious offence will be dealt with at the Crown court and could result in life imprisonment.

Arson with Intent

The ‘intent’ in this offence is to do with the intent to endanger life by setting the fire. An example of this offence is setting fire to a bedroom, whilst being fully aware that someone is in there.  In one real case the defendant was given 6 years in custody for setting fire to a bedroom and 7 years for setting the fire knowing that there were 6 other people in the house at the time.  It is sometimes clear whether there was intent or recklessness involved, but if not, you could be charged with both offences.

How Tuckers Solicitors can help you in relation to Arson offences…

To discuss anything to do with Arson prosecutions, please contact us on 020 7388 8333 or email and we will gladly assist.

Our offices are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to deliver immediate and expert legal advice and representation.