The severity of the consequences associated with arson charges in Philadelphia reflect the danger of destroying a building or residence by fire and threatening the lives of anyone who may be in or near the structure at the time of the fire. Arson charges in Philadelphia are based upon an intentional act to start a fire or cause an explosion, or the act of advising, paying or agreeing to pay another person to cause a fire explosion whether the property involved belongs to that person or not.
The prosecutor must also establish that the actions of the alleged arsonist recklessly placed another person at risk of injury or death (including but not limited to police officers, firefighters, paramedics) or that the fire or explosion was caused with the “specific intent” of causing damage to or destroying a home or occupied building.
Simply starting a fire does not in and of itself constitute arson. The prosecution must be able to establish the act was committed intentionally with the intention of hurting others or destroying property. Police at the scene, detectives and ultimately the prosecution will attempt to tie the “intentional action” of starting a fire or causing an explosion to a motive, such as collecting an insurance settlement or to cause harm or murder another individual. When the arson charges in Philadelphia are related to a fraudulent plan or scheme it is likely the defendant will face additional criminal charges.
Wimmer Criminal Defense works to challenge every phase of the investigation, the collection of evidence and the theories of the prosecution to disrupt the alleged “specific intention” of our client. The elements, individual facts or scenarios developed by the prosecution may attempt to paint a picture of someone acting to cover a failing business or to recover money for overdue bills. The defense of arson charges in Philadelphia focuses upon establishing the coincidental nature of these assertions and placing the specific intentions of the accused in doubt. We aggressively defend arson charges in Philadelphia as they can carry severe consequences. We invite you to read the comments of our clients and contact Wimmer Criminal Defense or call 215-712-1212 for a free consultation.