Arson is the deliberate burning of a house or building. Punishment varies depending on several factors, including intent, the amount of damage done and whether there were any injuries or fatalities because of it.
Simply put, the two types of arson the state of Michigan deals with are insurance fraud and malicious arson, where someone destroys property deliberately without intending to collect on insurance.
Arson – Insurance Fraud
Many cases of arson stem from attempted insurance fraud. Especially in economically depressed areas of Detroit, home or building owners may discover that the insurance payout for a property is more than the property is worth. Out of desperation, they either set fire to the property themselves, or hire someone to do it for them.
Along with the authorities, many times independent investigators will work on behalf of insurance companies to find conclusive evidence that arson took place. Insurance companies, as businesses, are looking to not pay out on claims if at all possible. For this reason, they have a reputation for being very aggressive.
Those setting a fire to collect on the insurance can be charged with arson and insurance fraud.
This type of arson is committed without the intent of collecting on an insurance claim. Malicious arsonists deliberately set fire to properties purely for destructive purposes, whether because of a dispute or for fun.
As a complication, any type of malicious arson has the possibility of injuring or killing residents in the structure. Because of this, people who set fires can face serious charges and penalties, whether they intentionally harmed the residents or not.
If an act of arson ultimately results in injury or death – including that of a firefighter or the emergency personnel called in to combat the fire, additional charges of assault or murder may be added. A supposed victim-less crime is now a murder charge.
Depending on the charge, an arson conviction could result in up to 20 years in jail. If the act of arson results in the deliberate death or serious injury of a person, you could be looking at life in prison.
We have the most experienced and successful lawyers, skilled in every stage of the game – from ensuring a thorough investigation is conducted on your behalf, to handling aggressive police and insurance fraud investigators. We use only the most respected experts to prove your case.
Our job as your Detroit arson lawyer is to aggressively fight on your behalf, to refute and oppose evidence gathered by the police or insurance investigators. Our ultimate goal is to get the best case results for our clients. We can help you avoid a criminal conviction, especially if there were no injuries or deaths and the property damage was relatively minor.