Aggravated Arson 2C:17-1(a)

Arson Charge Defense Attorneys in Hamilton, New Jersey

If you have been arrested and charged with aggravated arson in Mercer County, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Aggravated arson is a second degree felony offense in New Jersey and the penalties if convicted can be life changing. To make matters worse, the new bail reform now gives the prosecution the ability to seek to have a Defendant detained in the Mercer County Jail, without bail, pending trial. Therefore, if a detention hearing is requested, it is now more than ever, crucial that you speak to an experienced Mercer County criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your options. An experienced Mercer County defense attorney can contest the detention hearing and seek to have the Defendant released on special pretrial conditions as opposed to being detained without bail.

In addition to being charged with aggravated arson, a Defendant may also find themselves being charged charged with burglary, trespassing, criminal mischief, aggravated assault, terroristic threats, aggravate manslaughter, manslaughter and stalking. If you have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Mercer County, in towns like Hamilton, Trenton, Lawrence, Ewing, Robbinsville, West Windsor or Princeton, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys understand that no two cases are the same. We will sit down with you, discuss the facts of your cases and tailor a game plan on how to defend your charges. If would like to discuss your options with one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway that we can.

Aggravated Arson Charges in Hightstown NJ

Aggravated arson is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1 in the New Jersey criminal code. Aggravated arson, differs from arson, as the State is required here to show that the Defendant purposely or knowingly placed another in danger or destroyed a building etc. As, with the offense of arson, the State would only need to prove that the in doing so the Defendant recklessly placed another in danger etc. For more information on arson, please click the link. In order to convict someone of aggravated arson, the prosecution would need to prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant purposely started a fire or caused an explosion on their own property or the property of another;
  • In doing so, the Defendant:
    • Purposely or knowingly placed another in danger of death or bodily injury; or
    • Had the underlying purpose to destroy another’s building or structure;
    • Had the underlying purpose to collect insurance proceeds and as a result also recklessly placed another person in danger of death or bodily injury;
    • Had the underlying purpose to destroy or damage a forest.

As touched upon above, the underlying intent of the Defendant is what is key here. In order to prove that the Defendant acted “purposely” they must show that it was the Defendant’s conscious objective to engage in the said conduct. Conversely, in order to prove a Defendant acted “knowingly” they must show that they are aware that it is practically certain that their conduct will cause such a result. It is also important to note here that the “success” of the fire, meaning whether or not something was actually destroyed or not is totally irrelevant. If you have been charged with aggravated arson would like to discuss the facts of your case, please contact us at (609) 789-0779.

What are the Penalties for Aggravated Arson in NJ?

Aggravated arson is a second degree indictable offense in New Jersey. Anyone convicted of this offense will be facing a prison sentence anywhere from five to ten years, a fine up to $150,000, a felony criminal record and court ordered restitution if applicable. Since this is a second degree felony, the presumption for incarceration would apply. Furthermore, anyone convicted under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1(a), which is the section that covers putting another in danger of death or bodily injury will have their sentence subject to the No Early Release Act (NERA). NERA requires anyone convicted of one of their enumerated offenses to serve at least 85% of their sentence before they can become eligible for parole. NERA makes an already harsh sentence ten times worse.

Aggravated Arson Defense Attorneys in Mercer County NJ

As you can see from reading above, the offense of aggravated arson carries some crippling consequences if convicted. So, it is absolutely crucial that if you have been charged with arson, aggravated arson, resisting arrest, burglary, robbery or aggravated assault in Mercer County, that you speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The lawyers at the Law Office of Proetta & Oliver are experienced criminal defense attorneys who are ready and willing to fight to protect your rights. If you would like a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We serve all of Mercer County, including towns like Trenton, Pennington, East Windsor, Robbinsville, Hopewell, Ewing and Hamilton.