Have you been charged with Arson?
Arson is an extremely serious charge.
Depending on the dollar value of the item that was destroyed, gaol is usually the outcome if found guilty of an arson charge.
Section 197 of the Crimes Act 1958.
The prosecution must prove:
That the defendant burned the property;
That the accused purposely burned or destroyed the property, or knew or believed that was the likely result of his/her actions;
That the accused had no lawful excuse for damaging or destroying the property.
The maximum penalty
For Section 197(7) (Arson) – Level 4 being 15 years imprisonment.
Where will my case be heard?
A charge of arson depending on the Damage will typically be heard in the Magistrates; Court, unless the value of property damage exceeds $100,000 in which case the charge may be heard in the County Court.
What to do next
Arson is a serious charge which can result in lengthy imprisonment if you are convicted. You should make an appointment with an expert criminal lawyer as soon as possible to ensure proper representation and the best possible defence is provided for you.
Section 197 Destroying or damaging property
(6) An offence against this section committed by destroying or damaging property by fire shall be charged as arson.
(7) A person guilty of arson is liable to level 4 imprisonment (15 years maximum) despite anything to the contrary in this section.