A recent fire that damaged an abandoned building in Johnstown, New Jersey is being investigated for suspected arson, according to The Leader Herald. The city fire and police department reported that the fire began in a small storage room; however, the building’s electricity had been shut off for some time.
The owner of the damaged building is also the owner of several buildings that were destroyed by a massive fire in April 2008. Fire Chief Bruce Heberer said that the cause of the fire is under investigation, but it may be arson.
What is Arson?
Arson is defined as the crime of deliberately setting fire to a property, such as a building, vehicle, or wild land area, with the purpose of destroying another person’s property or harming another person.
In many cases, when a person faces charges for starting a fire or explosion on another person’s property, his or her guilt is determined by whether or not the accused acted with criminal intent. However, proving intention can be very challenging in the court of law.
For example, if the accused was found to be intoxicated at the time of starting the fire, the charges may be reduced because the individual was in an altered state and less responsible for his or her actions. However, it could also be argued that the accused was voluntarily intoxicated in order to escape culpability.
That’s why it is crucial to have an aggressive attorney on your side when facing criminal charges for arson. The outcome may rest heavily on your legal defense and could mean the difference between a lifetime sentence in jail or lesser penalties.
Fighting Back Against Charges
The New Jersey arson defense attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo have the knowledge and experience to defend those who have been accused of arson. We fight to ensure that our clients’ rights are protected, no matter how severe or minor the charges. If you are facing criminal investigation for arson, please contact us for a consultation about your case.