Two 15-year-old boys are being held in detention in connection with the May Ray fire, which burned 5 square miles of Gardnerville and seven (7) structures. Attorneys for the juveniles requested that they be released to their parents on house arrest, noting that the fire was was accidental. The juveniles told authorities that they failed to properly extinguish a campfire. However, prosecutors informed the court that one of the boys admitted setting twenty (20) other fires. The request for release was denied by the judge. The two are being held on juvenile offenses, which may include Arson.
Arson is defined as willfully and maliciously setting fire to or burning or causing to be burned personal property or aiding, counseling or procuring the burning the property of another. There are four degrees of arson. The most serious is First Degree Arson, which is setting fire to a person's dwelling house or the property where they live (i.e. – a motor home in which they reside). First Degree Arson is punishable by up to fifteen (15) years in prison and $15,000.00.
Second Degree Arson is setting fire to an abandoned building or structure belonging to the offender or another person. Second Degree Arson is punishable by up to ten (10) years in prison and $10,000.00. Third Degree Arson is setting fire to the unoccupied personal property of another or any timber, forest, shrubbery, crops, grass, vegetation or other flammable material of another. Third Degree Arson is punishable by up to four (4) years in prison or a $5,000.00 fine. Fourth Degree Arson is really an attempt to commit arson and is also punishable by up to four (4) years in prison or a $5,000.00 fine.
Arson is an extremely serious charge for anyone to face. This is especially true when the person charged is a juvenile. A conviction (which is called "adjudication" in juvenile court) can have substantial and life-long consequences. If you or someone you know is charged with Arson, it is imperative that you contact a Las Vegas Criminal Defense Attorney immediately. A Las Vegas Criminal Defense Lawyer can assist you in analyzing the facts of your case, identifying appropriate defenses and developing the most aggressive defense strategy possible.