Former Manhattan prosecutors
specializing in criminal defense and
civil rights in state and federal courts.

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Arson

The Arson statutes of Article 150 of the Penal Law prohibit the reckless or intentional burning and/or explosive destruction of property without consent. There are five different degrees of Arson in the New York Penal Law, and they range from a Class A misdemeanor to a very serious A-I felony. The degree of the crime depends upon several factors including (among others): the intent of the arsonist, the extent of the damage caused by the fire or explosion, the type of incendiary device used, and whether anyone was harmed or placed at risk. Also, whereas misdemeanor arson applies to regular property, the felony arson statutes apply only to buildings (defined as structures, vehicles or watercrafts used for overnight lodging or used for carrying on business therein), and motor vehicles.

Key Penal Law Provisions:

  • Arson in the fifth degree, PL 150.01, a class A misdemeanor
  • Arson in the fourth degree, PL 150.05, a class E felony
  • Arson in the third degree, PL 150.10, a class C felony
  • Arson in the second degree, PL 150.15, a class B felony
  • Arson in the first degree, 150.20, a class A-I felony

Previous Arson Case Results:

  • Client indicted for Arson in the Second Degree for burning down a multi-unit brownstone residential building in Brooklyn. G&J conclusively demonstrated that client had not intentionally set fire to the building and was thus able to obtain a dismissal of the most serious charges and obtain a favorable plea bargain that involved a non-jail and non-probation sentence.
  • Client indicted for Arson in the Second Degree for allegedly setting fire to his restaurant (with residential apartments upstairs). G&J persuaded prosecutor to allow client to plead to Arson in the Fourth Degree with a non state prison sentence (less than one year) after initially recomending a sentence of seven years on a plea to the top charge.