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Is an Arson Charge a Felony in Connecticut?

Arson is generally charged as a felony but the type of felony depends on the degree of the arson offense. The penalties you are sentenced to will also depend on the amount of damage caused by your incident. These criminal offenses are broken down into first, second and third-degree arson in the Connecticut Code Section 53a- (111-113).

Arson can take place in many different forms including the burning of your own property. To be charged with arson you must have intentionally damaged property by burning it or setting it on fire. Generally, this occurs with buildings or structured property, but arson also includes forestland or any type of public property. Arson can also come about after reckless acts. Typically, arson involves intentional fires but it can also involve reckless behavior that results in property damage caused by fire.

The actions involved in each degree of offense include:

  • Arson in the Third Degree: recklessly causing damage to a building, either belonging to themselves or of another person, due to the intentional start of a fire or cause of an explosion.
  • Arson in the Second Degree: intentionally damaging a building either by starting a fire/ causing an explosion or by hiring another person to start a fire/ cause an explosion. The fire must subject someone else to a risk of injury, be used to conceal a criminal act or deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by law.
  • Arson in the First Degree: intentionally damaging a building by starting a fire/ causing an explosion where the building was occupied or there is a reason to believe it would be occupied, a person is injured, a firefighter or officer is subject to the risk of injury or the fire was used to collect insurance funds.

If you are facing arson charges, take the first step to protect yourself by scheduling a free case review.


Penalties for Arson in Hartford, CT

Just as the offenses are categorized by the specific offense, the penalties will also vary by the offense. The degree of arson directly relates to the charges that the defendant is facing.

Feel free to look at the Connecticut Penal Code Title 53a of the general statutes to learn more about the offenses and penalties. The breakdown of charges and potential penalties is as follows:

  1. First Degree Arson - Class A Felony
    1. Prison sentence between 10 and 25 years
    2. A fine of up to $20,000
  2. Second Degree Arson - Class B Felony
    1. Prison sentence between one and 20 years
    2. A fine of up to $15,000
  3. Third Degree Arson - Class C Felony
    1. Prison sentence between one and 10 years
    2. A fine of up to $10,000

The penalties could increase above a Class A felony if there was a death involved in the arson offense. If murder takes place either intentionally or unintentionally, the defendant could be facing life in prison for the offense.

Carlson & Dumeer, LLC Defends Against Arson Charges

Are you facing arson charges in Connecticut? You are at risk of prison time and serious fines. You need to team up with an experienced Hartford criminal defense lawyer. Our Hartford criminal attorneys have years of experience and are familiar with the criminal proceedings involved in arson cases. We understand how stressful the legal process can be and our Hartford criminal attorneys want to help. Have knowledge on your side by teaming up with Carlson & Dumeer!


Schedule a free case consultation if you or a loved one are facing any criminal charges. Your future could depend on it!



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