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In Washington State, there are two degrees of Arson: First Degree Arson and Second Degree Arson. The first degree charge is a Class A Felony, while arson in the second degree is a Class B Felony. Both are considered “Violent” felonies, and carry substantial jail time even for a person with no criminal history (21-27 months for first degree, 3-9 months for second).
Under RCW 9A.48.020 (First Degree Arson), a person is guilty if he or she knowingly and maliciously does one of the following:
  • (a) explosion which is manifestly dangerous to any human life, including firefighters; or
  • (b) Causes a fire or explosion which damages a dwelling; or
  • (c) Causes a fire or explosion in any building in which there shall be at the time a human being who is not a participant in the crime; or
  • (d) Causes a fire or explosion on property valued at ten thousand dollars or more with intent to collect insurance proceeds
Motive is not an element of the crime, and the property that is burned or damaged can be the defendant’s own, exclusive property.
Under RCW 9A.48.030 (Second Degree Arson), a person is guilty if:
  • He or she knowingly and maliciously causes a fire or explosion which damages a building, or any structure or erection appurtenant to or joining any building, or any wharf, dock, machine, engine, automobile, or other motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, bridge, or trestle, or hay, grain, crop, or timber, whether cut or standing or any range land, or pasture land, or any fence, or any lumber, shingle, or other timber products, or any property.
Related to arson crimes are Reckless Burning in the First Degree (Class C Felony), Reckless Burning in the Second Degree (Gross Misdemeanor) and Malicious Mischief offenses (First, Second and Third).
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC lawyers are experienced in representing people charged with Arson crimes in Washington. We practice regularly in King, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties.
Call our office at (360) 659-4950 today for a free consultation and let us fight for your protection and rights.
Ashbach Law Offices, LLC represents clients charged with criminal offenses in Northwest Washington Courts, including King County, Skagit County, Snohomish County and Whatcom County, as well as other counties on a case-by-case basis. These counties include courts in and for the following cities: Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bellevue, Blaine, Bothell, Burlington, Edmonds, Everett, Issaquah, Kirkland, Lake Stevens, Lynden, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Mukilteo, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace, Monroe, Redmond, Sea-Tac, Seattle, Sedro Woolley, Shoreline, Snohomish, and Tukwila, Washington.
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