Monmouth County NJ Arson Lawyers
What started out as a prank could end up turning your life upside down. The vast majority of arson charges issued in Monmouth County stem from either a prank gone wrong or an experiment gone wrong. Of course there are always the deliberate arson offenses where it was the individual purpose to set the fire. Regardless of the underlying reason, anyone charged with arson in Monmouth County will be facing severe penalties, including incarceration and a felony criminal record. Most individuals charged with arson also time to find themselves being charged with criminal mischief, trespassing, burglary, aggravated assault, stalking, harassment, and even homicide.
Need Consultation with Lawyer for Arson Charge in Freehold
If you have been charged with arson or any other offense for that matter in Monmouth County, in towns like Marlboro, Tinton Falls, Middletown, Asbury Park, Long Branch, West Long Branch, Wall, Neptune or Freehold, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers have been appearing in courts throughout Monmouth County for nearly a decade now. Both Mr. Oliver and Mr. Proetta have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout the State. If you would like to come into our office to sit down with one of our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys then please contact us at (732)858-6959. We can go over the specific facts of your case and formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs. Our office is located at directly across the street from the Middletown Municipal Court at 18 Kings Highway in Middletown. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs. Now here is some important information on the offense of arson, including what the penalties are if convicted.
How Serious is an Arson Charge in New Jersey?
The New Jersey legislature decided to split the offense of arson into two different subsections; aggravated arson and arson. The difference between the two will be what the Defendant’s underlying mindset was at the time the fire was started. Aggravated arson will deal with a situation in which it was the Defendant’s conscious purpose to cause the damage. Conversely, arson will deal with a situation in which the Defendant was aware of the potential consequences which the arson might cause but it wasn’t his purpose to cause the damage.
What are the Elements for Arson in NJ?
The governing Statute in New Jersey for arson is N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1b. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution proved beyond reasonable doubt the following elements:
- The Defendant purposely starts, whether on his property or the property of another; &
- By doing so the Defendant:
- Reckless see placed another in danger of death or bodily injury; or
- Recklessly placed a building or structure of another in danger of damage; or
- Had the purpose to collect insurance proceeds; or
- Recklessly placed a forest in danger of damage.
How to Defend an Arson Case in New Jersey
So as stated earlier, one of the key ways to defend an arson charge is to attack what the Defendant’s mindset was at the time the fire was started. Obviously, another angle to attack would be whether or not the Defendant actually started the fire. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys then please contact us at (732)858-6959. We try to make ourselves available around the clock to help assist in any way we can. Now here is some information on what the potential penalties are if convicted of arson in New Jersey.
Will I go to Jail if I am Convicted of Arson in NJ?
Arson is a third-degree felony offense in New Jersey. All third-degree felony offenses are punishable by up to five years in a state prison, a fine up to $15,000, a felony criminal record, probation and restitution if applicable. Since this is a third-degree felony offense and not a second-degree like aggravated arson, a Defendant with no prior criminal history will obtain the presumption of non-incarceration. With being said, that presumption can be overcome if the facts are egregious enough and the presumption only applies to State Prison and not county jail time.
Eligible for Pretrial Intervention on an Arson Charge?
Since arson is a third-degree felony, a Defendant is technically eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program. With that being said the defendant has to apply and has to be accepted. One of the main factors that the prosecution will look at is the value of the damage and the victim’s position. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys about the Pretrial Intervention Program please contact us at (732)858-6959.
How to Post Bail for an Arson Charge in Monmouth County?
New Jersey has basically eliminated cash bails and we now use what is referred to as a “risk assessment”. Anyone arrested for arson or aggravated arson will be subjected to bail reform. That means that they will be detained in the Monmouth County Jail for at least 24 hours so that pretrial service can conduct their risk assessment of the individual. Once that assessment is complete the individual will have their Central Judicial Processing Hearing (CJP). At that hearing the individual will be informed whether they will be released on bail conditions or that the prosecutor’s office has filed for detention. If detention is filed for, that means that they are seeking to keep the individual detained in the County Jail, without bail, pending trial. Before this can happen though a formal hearing must be conducted and the decision will ultimately lie with the Judge. For more information on procedurally how an individual charged with arsons case will go, please checkout our Steps of a Criminal Case practice area.
Looking to Speak to Lawyer Regarding Arson Case in Asbury Park NJ
Being charged with a criminal offense can be scary and nerve-wracking. However, hiring the right attorney, one that not only has experience in dealing with arson charges but also has experience in dealing with the specific Court can go a long way to alleviating the stress. If you have been charged with arson, aggravated assault, burglary, trespassing, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct or aggravated arson in Monmouth County, we can help. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our attorneys then please contact us directly at (732) 858-6959. We are well aware of what a criminal record, especially one for arson, can do to your future. We will do everything in our power to prevent that from happening.