Arson may be described as the intentional and malicious burning or explosion of public buildings and businesses, residential dwellings, or property.
Laws that govern arson vary from state to state but generally include the fact that a criminal act caused a malicious fire or explosion to cause damage to another’s property.
Arson is classified as a felony crime.
People who are mentally ill and suffer from the condition known as pyromania typically commit. Other individuals, seeking to defraud insurance companies may also commit arson. Sometimes arson is committed in an attempt to cover up a crime scene.
No matter what the reason, for a case to be prosecuted as arson, it must be proved that the fire was not the result of an accident or force of nature.
The person who set the fire must be shown to have had full understanding that their actions would result in a fire.
There are various degrees of arson, and subsequently these degrees carry different levels of punishment.
The degrees of arson are not universal, however. Each state has it’s own set of terms that define the various degrees as well as the punishment, but generally speaking, the degrees are determined by the worth of the burned property, if people were hurt or could have been hurt, and whether or not the arsonist was hired.