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Understanding What Constitutes Arson in Illinois 

 Posted on February 03, 2023 in Criminal Law

Orland Park Arson Defense LawyerIn Illinois, arson is a serious property crime that, if convicted, can upend someone’s life in a multitude of ways. For example, someone can be charged with arson if they use fire to deliberately damage an individual’s property, including your property, or if they use fire or explosives to damage a building. Sometimes, someone may commit arson to try and commit insurance fraud. Whatever the case, arson is a crime taken very seriously by the authorities and, thus, must be taken equally seriously by whoever is charged for allegedly committing such an act.

Like with many serious crimes, the circumstances surrounding the act can significantly impact the severity of the charges brought against the alleged offender. For example, in cases involving arson, the targeted building can have a serious impact on the type of arson charges levied against the alleged perpetrator. In this blog, we will look at the penalties for arson and essential things to know if you are ever facing such charges. If you are ever charged with committing arson, do not hesitate to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help guide you through the legal process while ensuring your rights remain protected and respected. 

What Are the Penalties for Arson? 

To be charged with arson, the property set ablaze must be worth more than $150. As a result, what may be considered a minor fire can, in turn, bring serious charges. In Illinois, arson charges are as follows:

  • At its most basic level, arson is considered a Class 2 felony. If convicted, the offender will face three to seven years in prison and fines of up to $25,000.

  • If the offender commits arson against a person’s house or even their own house, this may constitute residential arson, which is a Class 1 felony. The penalties for such offenses are four to fifteen years in prison and fines up to $25,000.

  • If the act of arson targets a house of worship like a church or temple, this constitutes residential arson, and thus, penalties will be that of residential arson.

  • In Illinois, the most severe arson offense is referred to as aggravated arson, which is a Class X felony and carries between six and thirty years in prison. This type of arson occurs when an offender commits arson while aware, or they should have been aware, that a person is inside the building and that person suffers severe harm from the fire or permanent disability. If a first responder is injured trying to contain the blaze, charges may fall into the category of aggravated arson. 

Contact an Orland Park, IL Arson Defense Lawyer

Please understand that you are in serious legal jeopardy if you have been charged with arson. To give yourself the best chance at a positive outcome in your case, contact the knowledgeable Orland Park arson defense attorney with Issa Law, LLC. Call 708-966-2408 for a free consultation. 



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