Arson & Aggravated Arson In Ohio

Arson Charges in Central Ohio

Ohio’s Arson law is complex. This page provides a summary of the Arson charges and penalties. There are several different actions which are prohibited by the Arson statutes. To understand exactly what is being alleged and what are the potential consequences for that allegation, it is important to closely read the charging document (complaint or indictment), the Arson statutes, and the sentencing statutes. If you are facing a charge of Arson in Columbus or Central Ohio, you will benefit from the representation of a good criminal defense lawyer.

Different Types of Arson Charges in Ohio

There are two legislative laws which define Arson offenses: Aggravated Arson in Ohio Revised Code section 2903.02 and Arson in Ohio Revised Code section 2903.03. Although there are two statutes, the offenses can be committed in a dozen ways. Each of those ways is distinct, so there are various offense levels and penalties associated with the various ways of committing the offenses.

Aggravated Arson in Ohio

Aggravated Arson involves potential or actual harm to people and occupied structures. The offense is committed, by means of fire or explosion, in one of the following ways:

  1. Create a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person other than the offender.
    • First-degree felony: up to 11 years in prison and $20,000 fine.
  2. Cause physical harm to any occupied structure.
    • Second-degree felony: up to 8 years in prison and $15,000 fine.
  3. Create, through the offer or acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration, a substantial risk of physical harm to any occupied structure.
    • First-degree felony: up to 11 years in prison and $20,000 fine
Arson (Non-Aggravated) in Ohio

Arson (non-aggravated) involves potential or actual harm to property and unoccupied structures. The offense is committed, by means of fire or explosion, in one of the following ways:

  1. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to any property of another without the other person's consent
    • First degree misdemeanor: up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine
    • Fourth-degree felony if value of property or physical harm is over $1,000
  2. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to any property of the offender or another, with purpose to defraud
    • Fourth-degree felony: up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine
  3. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to the statehouse or a courthouse, school building, or other building or structure that is owned or controlled by the state, any political subdivision, or any department, agency, or instrumentality of the state or a political subdivision, and that is used for public purposes
    • Fourth-degree felony: up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine
  4. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm, through the offer or the acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration, to any property of another without the other person's consent or to any property of the offender or another with purpose to defraud
    • Third degree felony: up to 36 months in prison and $7,500 fine
  5. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to any park, preserve, wildlands, brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, timberland, greenlands, woods, or similar real property that is owned or controlled by another person, the state, or a political subdivision without the consent of the other person, the state, or the political subdivision
    • Fourth-degree felony: up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine
  6. With purpose to defraud, cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to any park, preserve, wildlands, brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, timberland, greenlands, woods, or similar real property that is owned or controlled by the offender, another person, the state, or a political subdivision
    • Fourth-degree felony: up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine
  7. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to any structure of another that is not an occupied structure
    • First degree misdemeanor: up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine
    • Fourth-degree felony if value of property or physical harm is over $1,000
  8. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm, through the offer or the acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration, to any structure of another that is not an occupied structure
    • Third degree felony: up to 36 months in prison and $7,500 fine
  9. Cause, or create a substantial risk of, physical harm to any structure that is not an occupied structure and that is in or on any park, preserve, wildlands, brush-covered land, cut- over land, forest, timberland, greenlands, woods, or similar real property that is owned or controlled by another person, the state, or a political subdivision
    • Fourth-degree felony: up to 18 months in prison and $5,000 fine
Arson Offender Registration

In addition to the listed penalties for Aggravated Arson and Arson, a person who is convicted of either of those offenses is required to register as an arson offender with the Sheriff of the county in which the person resides. The registration must be renewed annually, and the duty to register as an arson offender typically lasts for life.

Arson Investigation in Ohio

Arson investigation is considered to be an art and a science. In Ohio, arson is investigated by local fire departments and by state agencies. The agents leading the investigations are typically part of the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) and trained on materials from that organization and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Some of the techniques involved in arson investigation are scientific, and some are questionable forensic methods.

Lawyers for Arson Charges in Central Ohio

The lawyers at the Dominy Law Firm practice only criminal defense. We have experience with nearly every type of criminal charge, including Arson charges. We understand how these charges are investigated, and we know how to effectively litigate them. If you are charged with Arson and your case is in central Ohio, you can schedule a free phone consultation to discuss representation by submitting a CONTACT FORM or by calling 614-717-1177.

Testimonials
★★★★★
"Shawn is a wonderful person and an elite attorney. Being represented by him gives you complete peace of mind knowing you are in good hands, with..." M.A.
★★★★★
"Shawn Dominy quickly displayed his expertise in defending OVI cases at a level that made me immediately comfortable in my decision to..." K.G.
★★★★★
"I was looking at a Physical control OVI charge. License suspension, 3 day class, all that. Shawn got it reduced to persistent disorderly conduct. I paid a fine, saw..." Y.E.