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Arson is defined in the law as the malicious burning of the dwelling of another. This is somewhat outdated language but basically means that one who sets fire to the property of another may be guilty of arson.
There is some ambiguity in terms of exactly what arson is in a given circumstance. This is something that has been put to the test in recent times in a case in Tennessee. The situation in that case was truly awful in terms of what happened.
The case revolved around a fire that was started in the Gatlinburg, Tennessee area. This fire spun out of control and ended up causing the deaths of several people in the area. That is not to mention all of the property damage that also took place. Locals were outraged by what had happened, but it turned out that prosecutors ended up dropping all charges against the two children (aged 15 and 17) that were originally charged with a crime. They just did not have enough evidence to prove that these two really had caused the fire.
This cases goes to show that there are many circumstances involved in any particular case. Although many wanted to jump to conclusions with this particular situation, there was a lot to consider. The people who were charged in this case ended up not having to face the full force of the consequences of what they were originally charged with. That was the power of an attorney who was great at what he did. He knew the law and how to work the case out the best way for his clients.
An attorney is always something that you need if facing an arson charge. The charge is very serious and can cause a huge impact on your life going forward if you were to be found guilty. It could be that you were just caught in the wrong place at the wrong time and should not have to bear responsibility for what has happened. The best way to do this is to have legal representation.
There are different degrees of arson and it all depends upon the circumstances of your particular case. You will find that the more serious the offense, the more serious the potential consequences. The law takes into consideration the intent behind the action that was taken. If it seems that one has intentionally caused damage to property and others, then it will raise the stakes of what the consequences may be for what has been done. If there are mitigating circumstances then the charges may be of a lesser extent.
It is possible that one who ends up pleading guilty or being found guilty of arson could face as little as probation or even restitution. Just because one has been accused of arson does not mean that they are headed right off to jail. They have rights that must be considered, and there is the possibility that situations are not what they at first appear to be.
Taking the Gatlinburg case into consideration you can see how sometimes something that looks terrible may not be as bad from a legal prospective as one initially thought. It may be the case that even a big news event like that can be resolved in the court with as little harm to everyone involved as possible.
Lawyers do cost money, but they are well worth that cost when you are facing something as horrible as an arson charge. Most of us do not have to deal with something like this, but it is important to know what to do if it does happen. The two children in the Gatlinburg case probably never thought that they would have to have a lawyer defend them in court, but that was the case for them. Today they are thankful to have had that representation.
Considering all of this and thinking about what has happened with cases in the past, it is clear that a lawyer is a great hire. If you care about your future and want to make sure that you do not have to deal with the stain of a potential arson conviction, you need to hire an attorney. The court will appreciate it if you have someone who knows what they are doing a lot more than if you try to go it alone.