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Monday, April 20, 2009

Ind. Law - "It's the Law: Arson is considered serious crime"

Ken Kosky's NWI Times' "It's the Law" column for today, looks at arson. Some quotes:

Indiana law states it is a Class B felony, punishable by as many as 20 years in prison, to use fire or a destructive device to damage a person's home or a place of worship. Even if a home or church isn't involved, it is still a Class B felony to cause $5,000 damage to someone's property, to endanger a life or to commit arson for hire.

The offense becomes a Class A felony, punishable by as many as 50 years in prison if someone is injured.

"All the crimes involving arson are going to be felony charges, very severe charges," Valparaiso police Sgt. Michael Grennes said.

Assistant Valparaiso Fire Chief Dan Lamb said arsonists generally strike for two reasons: to be malicious or to collect insurance money. Either way, arsonists create a dangerous situation and face serious charges. * * *

Although the more serious arson cases carry maximum penalties of 20 years in prison, or 50 in the cases of injuries, even a fire that causes only $250 damage can get someone charged with Class D felony arson, which is punishable by as many as three years in prison.

And a person who commits arson for fraud can be charged with a Class C felony, punishable by as many as eight years in prison.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 20, 2009 06:13 AM
Posted to Indiana Law