A person commits Arson when, by means of fire or explosive, he knowingly causes damage to real property having a value of $150 or more. Further, if the person has the intent to defraud an insurer, damages to any property, whether personal in nature or not, and the value is great than $150, he or she can also be charged with arson in Illinois. “Property” can be real (land) or personal property – someone else’s property or your own. Arson is a Class 2 felony, punishable anywhere from 3 to 7 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Aggravated Arson. Aggravated Arson in Illinois is a more serious charge. The key distinction is that another person is present in or on the property that is damaged by fire. A person can be charged with Aggravated Arson if while in the act of committing an arson, he or she knowingly damages, partially or totally, any building or structure, including any adjacent building or structure, including all or any part of a school building, house trailer, watercraft, motor vehicle, or railroad car, and he or she knew or should have known that another person was present inside or that other person suffers great bodily harm as a result of the arson.
Aggravated Arson can also be charged if a fireman, policeman, or correctional officer, acting in the line of duty, is injured as a result of the arson. The sentence for Aggravated Arson in Illinois is a Class X felony, punishable anywhere from 6 to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Residential Arson/Arson to a Place of Worship. A person commits the offense of residential Arson when, in the course of committing an Arson, he or she knowingly damages, partially or totally, any building or structure that is the dwelling place of another. The sentence for Residential Arson is a Class 1 felony, punishable from 4 to 15 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Possession of Explosives or Explosive or Incendiary Devices. Even if you have not started the fire yet, a person can be charged with possession of the explosive. If a person possesses, manufactures or transports any explosive compound, timing or detonating device for use with any explosive compound or incendiary device and either intends to use such explosive or device to commit any offense or knows that another intends to use such explosive or device to commit a felony. Possession of explosives or explosive or incendiary devices is a Class 1 felony subject to not less than 4 years and not more than 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.
Due to the potential severity of these types of cases, you should have a highly experienced attorney to assist you.
Contact Lamp Law LLC to find out more about charges specific to your situation.