Arson is a crime defined as involving an individual purposefully setting fire to a property. While many think of the crime of arson as one that involves damage to a building, an individual can be charged with the crime for having maliciously set fire in the forest or to a boat. Arson is almost always prosecuted as a felony offense given its potential for causing serious bodily harm or death of its victims.
Investigators in Connecticut take into account a number of factors when inspecting the scene of a suspected case of arson. Specially-trained crime scene specialists rely heavily on the results of their chemical analyses studies to determine where and how the fire started. These tests require painstaking efforts on behalf of investigators. This is why arson charges can take months if not years to be passed down.
Punishments handed down in arson cases vary greatly depending on whether the arson was accompanied by the commission of another crime or as some type of retaliatory act. Whether or not the setting of the fire had the potential to injure others is considered as well.
As for the latter, a defendant that sets fire to a packed building, where some die as a result, might be punished with as much as the death penalty depending on the circumstances of the case.
Arson as a type of retaliatory action taken to get back at a significant other, family member or roommate is considered to be an aggravated circumstance. The same goes with arson that is set to cover up another crime. Cases involving aggravated circumstances have the potential of carrying enhanced sentences if a defendant is convicted of the crime.
A fire that is set by the defendant to take advantage of an insurance company might result in the perpetrator being charged with insurance fraud in additional to arson charges.
If for no other reason but the fact that the circumstances surrounding a suspected case of arson in Connecticut can carry varying types of punishment, those accused of this felony crime should seek the guidance of a skilled criminal defense attorney to construct their defense.