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Arson

Following any fire in Ohio, officials will typically conduct an investigation to determine the cause. Because investigators rarely have any eyewitnesses to help them establish possible causes, many forms of scientific or circumstantial evidence may be used to accuse alleged offenders of arson when there are signs that a fire was acting abnormally.

Arson is a crime that refers to a person intentionally setting a fire, and people can be charged with this offense even if nobody was hurt and the resulting damage was minimal. Individuals accused of these crimes may have allegedly had a financial incentive to start a blaze (a fraudulent insurance claim) or be accused of setting a fire to harm another property owner.

Attorney for Arson Arrests in Cincinnati, OH

Do you think that you might be under investigation or were you already arrested for alleged arson in Hamilton County? No matter how confident you are in your innocence, do not say anything to authorities without legal representation. Contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Cincinnati who represents clients accused of all kinds of property crimes in southwest Ohio, including Norwood, Springdale, Sycamore, Anderson, Bridgetown, Delhi, Green, Harrison, Miamitown, and several other nearby communities. Call (513) 399-6289 to have our attorney provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free, confidential consultation.


Overview of Arson Crimes in Ohio


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Arson Penalties in Hamilton County

Under Ohio Revised Code § 2909.03(A)(1), an alleged offender commits the first-degree misdemeanor offense of arson punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000 if he or she, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly causes, or creates a substantial risk of, physical harm to any property of another without the other person's consent. If the value of the property or the amount of the physical harm involved is $1,000 or more, arson becomes a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

It is also a fourth-degree felony if an alleged offender, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly does any of the following:

  • Causes, or creates a substantial risk of, physical harm to any property of the offender or another, with purpose to defraud;
  • Causes, or creates 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;
  • Causes, or creates 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; or
  • With purpose to defraud, causes, or creates 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.

If a person, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly causes, or creates 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 alleged offender or another with purpose to defraud, the offense is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000. It is important to note that Ohio Revised Code § 2909.01(A) establishes that to "create a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person" includes the creation of a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any emergency personnel.


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Aggravated Arson Penalties in Cincinnati

An alleged offender can be charged with the second-degree felony offense of aggravated arson under Ohio Revised Code § 2909.02(A)(2) punishable by up to eight years in prison and/or a fine of up to $15,000 if he or she, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly causes physical harm to any occupied structure. Ohio Revised Code § 2909.01(C) states that an occupied structure means any house, building, outbuilding, watercraft, aircraft, railroad car, truck, trailer, tent, or other structure, vehicle, or shelter, or any portion thereof, to which any of the following applies:

  • It is maintained as a permanent or temporary dwelling, even though it is temporarily unoccupied and whether or not any person is actually present;
  • At the time, it is occupied as the permanent or temporary habitation of any person, whether or not any person is actually present;
  • At the time, it is specially adapted for the overnight accommodation of any person, whether or not any person is actually present; or
  • At the time, any person is present or likely to be present in it.

Aggravated arson can become a first-degree felony punishable by up to 11 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000 if the alleged offender, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person other than the alleged offender or creates, through the offer or acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration, a substantial risk of physical harm to any occupied structure.


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Ohio Arson Offense Resources

Fire | City of Cincinnati — The Cincinnati Fire Department (CFD) is the nation’s oldest fully paid professional fire department. The CFD provides arson investigation and fire prevention services in addition to first responder emergency medical services, Advanced Life Support (ALS) transport, and hazardous devices and hazardous material incidents response in Cincinnati. On this website, you can learn more about the Fire Chief, fire prevention, and recent news.

City of Cincinnati Fire Department
430 Central Ave.
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 357-7596

Ohio Chapter International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) — The IAAI is an international professional association of more than 9,000 fire investigation professionals. Visit this website to learn more about the Ohio Chapter of the IAAI. You can learn more about training, Certified Fire Investigators (CFIs), and different committees.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Cincinnati Arson Defense Lawyer

If you were recently arrested or you believe that you could be under investigation anywhere in Hamilton County for alleged arson, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends individuals accused of these types of crimes in Springfield, Symmes, Blue Ash, Colerain, Forest Park, Miami, Montgomery, Reading, and many other surrounding areas of southwest Ohio.

Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (513) 399-6289 or submit an online contact form to take advantage of a free initial consultation.


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