Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Hall County Woman Allegedly Sets Local Church on Fire

Posted by Richard Lawson | Oct 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

According to reports out of Hall County, a woman is facing some serious allegations after a church was allegedly set on fire in Gainesville.

Firefighters and police arrived to a very strange scene off Old Cornelia Highway this past week. Authorities found a woman lying on the floor of the church as it was on fire refusing to obey any of the deputies commands for her to get out of the burning church. As of right now, it is believed that she broke into the church and started the fire. She is facing charges of arson and burglary in Georgia.

As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will outline the offense of first degree arson in today's post.

First Degree Arson in Georgia

Georgia Law separates the crime of arson into three separate degrees. First degree arson in Georgia is defined by the Georgia Code in O.C.G.A. § 16-7-60 as:

(a) A person commits the offense of arson in the first degree when, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage:

(1) Any dwelling house of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt, without the consent of both, whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant;

(2) Any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, or other structure of another without his or her consent or in which another has a security interest, including but not limited to a mortgage, a lien, or a conveyance to secure debt, without the consent of both, if such structure is designed for use as a dwelling, whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant;

(3) Any dwelling house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant and when such is insured against loss or damage by fire or explosive and such loss or damage is accomplished without the consent of both the insurer and the insured;

(4) Any dwelling house, building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure whether it is occupied, unoccupied, or vacant with the intent to defeat, prejudice, or defraud the rights of a spouse or co-owner; or

(5) Any building, vehicle, railroad car, watercraft, aircraft, or other structure under such circumstances that it is reasonably foreseeable that human life might be endangered.

(b) A person also commits the offense of arson in the first degree when, in the commission of a felony, by means of fire or explosive, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage anything included or described in subsection (a) of this Code section.

(c) A person convicted of the offense of arson in the first degree shall be punished by a fine of not more than $50,000.00 or by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than 20 years, or both.

Practice Note

The woman is facing some very serious charges and allegations. However, as a defense attorney, it is important for me to note that just because a person has been accused of committing a crime does not mean that he or she is guilty of committing said offense.

If you or a loved one has been arrested or is facing serious allegations of criminal wrongdoing, call our offices today. A Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney can help you now.

About the Author

Richard Lawson

Richard Lawson has devoted his entire career to DUI Defense. He exclusively handles DUI Cases. As a former DUI Prosecutor he knows both sides of your case. Put his experience to work for you. You only have 30 days to protect your right to drive. Call now for immediate attention. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

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