Idaho Arson | Criminal Defense

Idaho Arson Charges

Arson In The First Degree

Arson in the First Degree (Idaho Code § 18-802) occurs when any person “willfully and unlawfully, by fire or explosion, damages”:

(1) Any dwelling, whether occupied or not; or
(2) Any structure, whether occupied or not, in which persons are normally present, including without limitation: jails, prisons or detention centers; hospitals, nursing homes or other health care facilities; department stores, office buildings, business establishments, churches or educational institutions, or other similar structures; or
(3) Any other structure which the actor has reasonable grounds to believe is occupied by a human being; or
(4) Any real or personal property, whether the property of the actor or another, with the intent to deceive or harm any insurer or any person with a legal or financial interest in the property, or obtain any financial gain for the actor or another.

A person convicted of Arson in the First Degree is facing a possible prison sentence of twenty-five (25) years and a maximum potential fine of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), or both.

Arson In The Second Degree

Arson in the Second Degree occurs when a person “willfully and unlawfully, by fire or explosion, damages any structure, whether the property of the actor or another.” Idaho Code § 18-803. A person convicted of Arson in the Second Degree is subject to a prison term of up to fifteen (15) years, fines of up to seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000), or do both.

Arson In The Third Degree

Arson in the Third Degree results from a person "willfully and unlawfully, by fire or explosion, damages: (1) any real or personal property of another; or (2) any forest land." Any person convicted of this crime may be sentenced to prison for a term of up to ten (10) years, and a fine up to fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or both.

Aggravated Arson

Aggravated arson occurs when a person who commits an arson that results directly or indirectly in great bodily harm, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, or death of a firefighter or any other person, regardless of intent or lack of intent to cause such harm. Aggravated arson subjects the defendant to penalties above and beyond those in a standard arson case. The extended term of imprisonment possible is computed by adding up to ten (10) additional years.

Arson Definitions

(1) “Damage”, in addition to its ordinary meaning, includes any charring, scorching, burning or breaking, and shall include any diminution in the value of any property as a consequence of an act;
(2) “Dwelling” means any structure used or intended for use as human habitation;
(3) “Structure” means any building of any kind, including fixtures and appurtenances attached thereto, any coliseum, bridge or carport, any tent or other portable building, or any vehicle, vessel, watercraft or aircraft;
(4) “Real property” means any land, and shall include any crops growing thereon;
(5) “Personal property” means any tangible property, including anything severed from the land;
(6) “Forest land” means any brush covered land, cut-over land, forest, prairie, grasslands, wetlands or woods;
(7) “Firefighter” means any person assisting in the suppression or extinguishment of any fire or explosion.

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