Marietta Arson Defense Lawyer
Looking for a Marietta arson defense lawyer? Look no further than The Waltman Firm in Marietta. We have a lawyer ready to serve you. Schedule a consultation call with us today.
Marietta Arson Criminal Defense Attorney
Good people can find themselves in difficult situations. If you have been arrested for arson in Georgia, you may wondering about the charges laid against you and how you can defend yourself.
Arson is a serious felony crime and, if you are convicted, can come with hefty fines and terms of incarceration. Defined simply, “arson” is the destruction of another’s property by explosion or fire.
Due to their nature, arson charges can be complex to defend. Arson cases rely heavily on expert testimony and scientific evidence. An arson defense attorney can help you understand the criminal charges against you, the defenses available and will represent your interests in court.
If you are looking for an experienced criminal defense lawyer to advocate for your rights in the courtroom and beyond, the Waltman Firm is here for you! Since 2015, Holly Waltman has been serving Marietta, GA and the greater Atlanta area. Holly is a passionate advocate providing her clients with aggressive representation.
Contact us today to book an appointment.
Arson Offenses in Georgia
Arson refers to crimes involving property damage by explosion or fire. There are three categories of arson offenses:
- Arson in the first-degree
- Arson in the second-degree
- Arson in the third-degree
These categories indicate the seriousness of the arson allegations and the penalties. In all arson cases, the prosecutor must prove the defendant’s intent to knowingly cause, or help another to cause, damage.
Arson is a felony offense and subject to the four year statute of limitations for criminal offenses. This means that charges must be brought within four years from the date of the arson.
Arson in the First Degree
First degree arson is the most serious arson offense in Georgia. A person commits first degree arson when they knowingly cause, or aid or abet another to cause, damage by use of explosives or fire to another’s property. This includes any of the following property without the consent of the owner, co-owner, spouse, lienholder or insurer:
- Any dwelling house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or other structure designed for use as a dwelling, whether it is occupied, unoccupied or vacant.
- Any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft or other structure under circumstances that might endanger human life.
A first degree arson conviction can result in up to $50,000 in fines, imprisonment for one to 20 years, or both.
Arson in the Second Degree
A person commits second degree arson under circumstances similar to those described for arson in the first degree. It also includes damage to any structure not included under the first degree arson statute.
A second degree arson conviction can result in up to $25,000 in fines, imprisonment one to 10 years, or both.
Arson in the Third Degree
A person commits third degree arson when they knowingly cause damage to, or aid or abet another to cause damage by use of explosives or fire to any personal property of another valued greater than $25. A person will also be charged with arson in the third degree if, during the commission of a felony, they destroyed property by means of fire or explosion.
A third degree arson conviction can result in up to $10,000 in fines, imprisonment for one to five years, or both.
The Technicalities of Arson Criminal Defense in Marietta, GA
Arson cases rely heavily on scientific investigation. Following a suspected arson, investigators will collect evidence and analyze the crime scene to identify things like burn patterns and possible accelerants.
Despite the highly-scientific nature of arson investigations, sometimes direct evidence linking a specific person to the crime is destroyed. Therefore, many arson allegations are based on circumstantial evidence. This can lead the State to wrongly prosecute defendants.
Have you been arrested and charged with arson in Marietta, GA, Cobb County or the greater Atlanta area? Let the Waltman Firm put our experience to work for you. As a former prosecutor, Holly Waltman understands the nature of arson cases, how prosecutors build their case and how to defend against it.
What is the Best Defense Against Arson?
In any criminal case, the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant committed the crimes charged. As a defendant, you have a constitutional right to an attorney and to raise a defense against the charges.
There are a number of available defenses to arson. At trial, the main job of your arson defense attorney is to create a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors. Two common strategies to defend against arson charges include using conflicting expert testimony and presenting an alibi.
Hiring an Expert in Fire Investigations
Hiring a credible expert to investigate or evaluate the case against you is invaluable. These independent investigators are often former or retired fire staff and law enforcement officers. They use their extensive experience and scientific knowledge to analyze the cause of the fire or explosion. This can provide evidence that conflicts with the prosecutor’s version of the facts and help create a reasonable doubt.
Present an Alibi
An alibi defense is when a defendant states they were in a different place at the time the crime occurred. An alibi can be proved through documentation or testimony.
If you were with another person, they can provide testimony that you were in a different place at the time of the crime. Your criminal defense attorney will help your witness prepare their testimony and for cross-examination by the prosecution.
If there is physical evidence of your alibi, your lawyer will present this in court. This can include various things like: hotel receipts, travel tickets, pulling up GPS history from your phone, texts, voicemails, etc.
At The Waltman Firm, we work with credible experts to build your defense and critically evaluate the case against you.
Charged With Arson? The Waltman Firm Is Here To Help
A felony arson conviction can have severe consequences. Seeking assistance from a seasoned criminal defense attorney can be vital to fighting these charges. The Waltman Firm is here to provide you with the best possible defense.
At the Waltman Firm, we offer legal assistance for a variety of criminal offenses ranging from domestic violence cases, aggravated assault, drug offenses and DUIs. Unlike other criminal defense attorneys, Holly Waltman has experience on both sides of the courtroom and she puts that knowledge to work for her clients.
Besides helping clients defend against criminal charges, our law firm also offers services as a probation termination lawyer working to ease the constraints on those already serving probation.
We know that your freedom comes first. A criminal record, jail time and hefty fines can be life-altering. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help.
If you were arrested for arson in Marietta, GA, you don’t have to fight alone. Call us 24/7 at 770-284-8130.