Depending on the circumstances, penalties can range from at least two years in jail with fines, all the way to the death penalty if someone died in the fire. Under Nevada’s
felony murder statute, regardless of whether there was an intention of causing bodily harm to anyone, you could be charged with first degree murder, which carries a potential life sentence or in some cases, death.
As frightening as this sounds, you should not despair; the right arson defense lawyer raising a rigorous defense can often make these charges go away and give you your life back.
Defenses to an Arson Charge
Lack of proof of intent: You are innocent under the law until you are proven guilty “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This is a high standard of proof. Prosecutors must be able to prove that you had a specific intent to do harm; this is not an easy task. If you did start the fire, but your lawyer can show that it was a result of an accident, recklessness, or negligence, you can’t be convicted of arson.
Another cause: A dry climate like ours in Nevada sets the stage for fires to occur naturally. Wildfires are common, and if your lawyer can argue persuasively that the fire might reasonably have a natural cause, your case may be dismissed.
Insufficient evidence: In many arson cases, there is simply not enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the fire was set. Fire is destructive, and in many cases there is nothing left that would constitute definitive proof that you or anyone deliberately set it. If your
defense lawyer can demonstrate that the available evidence against you is insufficient, you cannot be convicted and the charges should be dropped.
Outdated or invalid “science”: An experienced arson defense lawyer can bring in scientists and fire reconstruction experts to testify on your behalf. Much of the so-called “science” that has been used as evidence of arson in the past has been found to be invalid. For example, experts once believed that hot-burning fires were always caused by arson. The latest research finds no relationship between the intensity of the heat and how the fire was caused. A V-shaped pattern on a wall was once thought to be proof of arson, but now experts know that it merely shows the start point of the fire and says nothing about its cause. Defendants have been exonerated by calling in the right experts with the most current knowledge in their field.
Your Freedom and Future at Stake
When you’re facing an arson charge, your freedom and future are at stake, so it is absolutely essential to have the best criminal defense lawyer you can find to fight the charges. Arson is not easy to prove when your attorney has the legal knowledge, experience, skill, and access to the most respected experts to cast doubt on the quality of the evidence prosecutors are presenting as “proof.”
Experienced Legal Counsel in Las Vegas
When you need experience on your side in Nevada or California, it’s time to call criminal defense attorney Benjamin Nadig. As a former prosecutor, Ben knows the operations of the criminal court system from both sides and will put that experience to work for you. Everyone accused of a crime has the constitutional right to the best defense, and that’s what you’ll get at the Nadig law firm in Las Vegas.
Contact immediately if you’ve been accused or expect to be accused to get Ben working to protect your constitutional rights and your future.