Call Us Now!


Lighting a Fire Could be No Laughing Matter

Few people would intentionally light or start a fire knowing that it could damage property or worse, endanger lives. However, unintentional fires do sometimes happen and you could even be accused of starting a fire that you had nothing to do with. You cannot, of course, be convicted of a crime like arson unless there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were guilty of an offense, but without an experienced criminal defense attorney, you may be intimidated enough to end up with an unjust conviction.

Arson is a serious crime

The difference between arson and an accidental fire is that the person accused of arson is alleged to have started the fire intentionally, i.e. in the full knowledge that the fire could cause property damage and loss of life. Arson is a felony offense in Florida and is categorized according to the severity of the offense.

The most serious crime of arson is a first degree felony. For prosecutors to convict someone for this offense they must be able to prove that the accused:

• Used a fire or an explosion to damage a building or its contents; • Used fire or an explosion intentionally or during a burglary; • Knew that the property or building had an occupant; • Used fire to damage a dwelling or somewhere that the defendant knew could possibly have an occupant during daylight hours such as an office block.

All of the above must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction to be obtained. Penalties include a fine of up to$15,000, restitution for the value of the property damaged and a prison sentence of up to 30 years.

There may be additional crimes that the defendant could face if a person in the building was injured or killed as a result of the fire or explosion.

The next level of arson is a second degree felony. The main difference between this crime and the one above is the absence of knowledge of occupancy by a person. Like the more serious crime of first degree arson, each of the following must be established:

• The defendant used fire or an explosion to damage a building or structure; • The defendant intentionally set out to damage the property or during the course of a burglary or other property crime.

Penalties for a conviction for this crime include a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 15 years.

There are other related statutes in Florida such as those for criminal mischief and attempted arson.

Defense against a charge of arson

An experienced criminal defense attorney, like Miami’s Albert Quirates Esq. will be able to assess the case against you and any evidence held by the prosecution. The main defense options are as follows:

• You were the cause of the fire but it was a mistake. • You lit the fire, but there was no intention to damage any property. • You were not the person who lit the fire or caused the fire through an explosion. It is quite possible that an eyewitness saw someone who may have resembled you, but it was not you who was involved in the fire.

You can contact the Law Firm of Albert Quirantes at 305-644-1800.

Albert Quirantes: Your Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer & DUI Lawyer

For over 30 years, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert M. Quirantes has been aggressively and zealously defending the rights of those accused of felony and misdemeanor crimesthroughout South Florida. With his dedicated team, reasonable legal fees, and a well-earned reputation for challenging prosecutors at every turn, he has protected over 8,000 clients during some of the roughest times of their lives.

Increase your knowledge! If you want to know more about how to resolve the problems you face when charged with a criminal offense in Florida, then you can follow Miami Criminal Attorney Albert M. Quirantes on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, please call us today at (305) 644-1800 or fill out our online form to arrange for your free, confidential initial consultation.

If you have any questions about this or any other criminal accusation, call Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes at: (305) 644-1800 or visit our homepage for a direct link to the office or a text message or a map and directions to our office.

Featured Posts
Recent Posts
Search By Tags
Miami Crimianl Attorney Albert M. Quirantes

1815 NW 7th Street,

Miami, Florida 33125-3503
1-800-333-LEGAL (5342)

Dade: 305-644-1800
Fax: 305-644-1999

  • Twitter Social Icon
  • Facebook Social Icon
  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Google+ Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • AvvoIcon
  • InstagramIcon
Miami DUI Lawyer | Attorney Albert M. Quirantes
Miami DUI Defense Lawyer | Attorney Albert M. Quirantes
Miami FACDL Lawyer | Attorney Albert M. Quirantes
Miami Trial Lawyer | Attorney Albert M. Quirantes

© 2018 Albert Quirantes. The name of this law firm is: "Albert Quirantes, Esq., Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers", a subsidiary of The Ticket Lawyers, P.A., a criminal defense law firm and formerly known as Ticket Law Center. It's the main office is located at 1815 N.W. 7th Street, Miami, Florida 33125. Albert M. Quirantes has been licensed to practice law in Florida since May 13, 1988. We publish the information on this website to help inform you, but nothing on this website or its links is to be considered legal advice and we do not have an attorney-client relationship until you retain us as your attorneys.


Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this website or through email. The transmission of information to us via this website or email does not create an attorney-client relationship until a legal fee is paid and the firm agrees to take your case in writing. You should not take any legal actions based on the information found on this website and the law firms are not liable for your use or interpretation of information contained in this website and expressly disclaim all liability for actions you take or do not take based on information from this website or any of its links.


This disclaimer governs your use of this website and you accept this disclaimer in full by using it. If you disagree with any part of this disclaimer, please do not use our websites. We may modify these terms at any time and you are asked to check periodically for changes. By using this site, you agree to accept any changes to these terms whether or not you have taken the time to review them.


Privacy Policy: We do not provide your private information to anyone. That includes parents, family members or friends. This refers to your email address or any contact information or information about your legal matter or questions. It's no one's business but yours unless you authorize its release.