Georgia Criminal Defense Blog

Man Arrested for First Degree Arson in Georgia After Allegedly Setting Apartment Furniture on Fire

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 01, 2019 | 0 Comments

Jordan McLain, a 22-year-old man in Hall County, has been arrested on charges of first degree arson after allegedly setting pieces of furniture on fire inside of an apartment. According to reports, McLain intentionally set the furniture on fire while four of his family members were inside of the residence. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

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

First Degree Arson in Georgia

First degree arson in Georgia is defined in O.C.G.A. §16-7-60 as:

A person will be guilty of arson in the first degree when, by means of fire or explosion, whether or not in the commission of a felony, he or she knowingly damages or knowingly causes, aids, abets, advises, encourages, hires, counsels, or procures another to damage:

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

So according to the law, the main elements of arson are as follows. First, the damage was knowingly done and second, it was done by fire or explosive. Without both of these elements, an individual cannot be guilty of arson.

First degree arson is a felony in Georgia. A person convicted of arson in the first degree shall be punished by a fine of no more than $50,000 or by a prison term between one and twenty years, or both. 

Georgia law also outlines the offenses of second degree arson in Georgia as well as third degree arson in Georgia.

Practice Note

Arson is considered a very serious crime in Georgia. If you or a loved one has been arrested for committing arson, contact a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney today.

The reality is that a conviction for arson in any degree comes with significant consequences. Don't face these consequences on your own. Call us 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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