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The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall

Morris County

NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers


Our team of skilled attorneys includes former County and Municipal Prosecutors with over 100 years combined experience and is available to assist you immediately.

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Arson Lawyers in Morris County NJ

Arson Defense Attorneys in Morristown NJ

Most arson charges in Morris County stem as a result of what some may call a prank gone wrong. Unfortunately, that prank gone wrong may cost someone up too five (5) years of their life. Arson is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1. As you will see below, arson is a third degree felony in New Jersey (unless you are charged with aggravated arson, which can be either a first or second degree felony). Therefore, not only will a Defendant be subject to a lengthy State prison sentence but also high fines and a felony criminal record as well. If you have been charged with arson in Morris County, you may also find yourself facing a criminal mischief, aggravated arson, disorderly conduct, trespassing, burglary and aggravated assault charges as well.

The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has eight Morris County criminal defense lawyers on staff. With over 100 years of combined experience on staff you would be hard pressed to find a situation our office hasn’t dealt with. If you have been charged with arson in towns like Rockaway, Dover, Denville, Harding, Washington, Randolph or Parsippany, we can help. If you would like to schedule an appointment to come in and discuss your options with any one of the eight criminal defense lawyers on staff, then please contact our Morristown office at 973.309.7050. We make ourself available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible as we understand how stressful this situation is for you. Now here is some key information on the offense of arson, including the elements of the offense as well.

Arson: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1

Arson Lawyers in Parsippany NJ

As stated above, the governing statute in New Jersey for arson is N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3. In order for the prosecution to obtain a conviction for arson they must prove three material elements beyond a reasonable doubt. They are as follows:

  1. The Defendant started a fire/explosion;
  2. It was the Defendant’s purpose to start the said fire/explosion &
    • The defendant’s actions put another in “danger of death or bodily injury” and he/she acted with a “conscious disregard of the substantial and unjustifiable risk of this danger” or
    • The defendant placed a building in “danger of damage or destruction” and he/she acted with a “conscious disregard of the substantial and unjustifiable risk of that danger” or
    • The defendant’s underline  purpose in committing the said arson was to collect insurance for the destruction or damage to the property in question; or
    • The defendant’s underline purpose was to destroy or damage a structure in order to “exempt the structure, completely or partially, from the provisions of any State, county or local zoning, planning or building law, regulation, ordinance or enactment” or
    • The defendant acted recklessly in starting the said fire/explosion that placed a forest in danger of damage or destruction.

What are the Penalties for Arson in NJ?

Arson is a third degree felony in New Jersey. If convicted, a Defendant faces up too five years in a State prison, a fine up too $15,000, a permanent criminal record and possible community service. A Defendant facing a third degree felony in New Jersey enjoys the benefit of a presumption of non-incarceration if convicted. With that being said, the State can overcome that burden and if they do, the Defendant would be facing a lengthy prison term. In addition, depending on the Defendant’s prior record, they may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs known as Pretrial Intervention (PTI). PTI is a diversionary program in New Jersey whereby if you are placed into the program and you complete the program without violating any of the terms, the charges will be outright dismissed. For more information on this program please click here.

Mount Olive NJ Arson Defense Lawyers

As you can tell from above, the penalties if convicted of arson in New Jersey can be life changing. If you or a loved one has been charged with arson, aggravated arson, terroristic threats, harassment, stalking, burglary or kidnapping, we can help. With eight criminal defense attorneys on staff, our office is one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State let alone Morris County. Our team of defense attorneys haver extensive experience representing clients charged with various criminal offenses in towns like Dover, Florham Park, Mendham, Morris Township, Jefferson and Pequannock.