Criminal Defense LawyersMy family and I could not be more grateful
for everything you did for me... - T.S.
The Florida arson law is extremely broad and can include a variety of actions, which at a minimum can be charged as a second-degree felony. Anyone who has been charged or is being investigated for arson should contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Arson investigations can take weeks or months to complete, and charges rarely come down immediately after a fire. An unrepresented defendant is vulnerable to law enforcement, and detectives will use numerous tactics to pressure a suspect into giving a potentially damaging statement. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida arson lawyer who has extensive experience defending clients in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County. Benjamin has won arson jury trials and has a unique knowledge of fire science that is essential to preparing a strong defense. He has worked with fire science experts and understands that the fire marshal is almost always biased toward a conclusion that the fire was set intentionally. Benjamin is available 7 days a week at (954) 543-0305 to provide a free consultation about your case, and can meet in person in his Fort Lauderdale or West Palm locations. He is also willing to travel anywhere from Homestead to Port St. Lucie, and defends arson cases in Monroe County, Martin County and St. Lucie County in addition to the Tri-County area. Benjamin handles adult and juvenile arson charges in all South Florida jurisdictions.
Under Florida law arson is defined as intentionally setting fire to a structure, which means any building with an enclosed area with a roof, any vehicle, boat or aircraft, or any tent or portable building. Arson is commonly charged as a second-degree felony, but if the structure is a dwelling (home), a place where people are normally present, or a place that the suspect reasonably believed was occupied by a person the charge is elevated to a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Arson charges can also be added to any other case where the defendant is accused of committing a felony that results in a fire or explosion. Under this scenario the defendant does not have to intentionally set a fire in order to be charged with arson. An example would be discharging a firearm in an aggravated assault that results in a fire. The Florida Bureau of Fire, Arson & Explosive Investigations or arson detectives from the local police department will investigate almost every fire where an insurance claim if filed, and their law enforcement ties often create unfair biases. For this reason, false arson charges are far too common, but an experienced lawyer will be able to pick apart the detective’s opinion.
The sentencing guidelines are high for all arson cases regardless of whether it is first or second degree, and prosecutors and judges take these charges seriously. Most of South Florida has a high population density and fires can spread easily. Even if the defendant only intended to burn a small area or isolated and unoccupied building the state will almost always argue that the defendant’s actions placed lives in danger. Arson can have severe consequences if not handled by an experienced criminal defense lawyer, and there is no reason to gamble by not retaining one. Benjamin has the experience and the track record of success to defend you or your loved one against a Florida arson charge, and is available anytime to provide a no obligation consultation. Benjamin provides all clients with his cell phone number for access on nights and weekends, and he is never too busy to answer questions, give updates or simply to provide counseling. Arson cases are complex and typically involve technical evidence that is difficult to understand for a person without experience in fire science. Benjamin takes the time with all arson clients to explain exactly how he will attack the state’s case, and he never backs down from trial if a fair resolution cannot be reached. Contact Benjamin to find out how he can fight for you.