Arson is a crime that many think of as committed by mischievous kids or scorned lovers from relationship’s past. It’s a crime literally thought of as one where someone simply lights something on fire that they shouldn’t. In fact this crime can be charged for conduct involving setting something on fire or it can be charged when a fire or explosion occurs while someone is in the course of a felony, whether they intended on burning something down or not. For example, if someone is committing a burglary, robbery or other violent crime while within the home of another and they unintentionally start a fire in the process, that person could be charged despite having no willful intent. Tampa criminal lawyer Jason Mayberry knows what the State must show in order to prove this allegation. Our criminal lawyers understand that due to the secretive nature of this crime, often identity is extremely hard to prove. Our firm will work hard every day to ensure that your case is defended as zealously as possible on all fronts.


Arson is codified under Florida Statute 806.01. The crime is committed when a person willfully and unlawfully, or while in the commission of any felony, by fire or explosion, damages or causes to be damaged a dwelling, regardless of whether it’s occupied or its contents, any structure, or contents within, where persons are normally present, such as: jails, prisons, or detention centers; hospitals, nursing homes, or other health care facilities; department stores, office buildings, business establishments, churches, or educational institutions during normal hours of occupancy; or other similar structures, and any other structure that the person knew or had reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by someone.

Due to the high potential for serious bodily harm or death, arson is considered a first degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in the Florida Department of Corrections and a $10,000 fine.


A charge of this nature is one of those crimes that law enforcement and the State Attorney’s Office take a personal interest in prosecuting. Due to the very serious nature of the offense you will be up against the best of the best each agency has to offer, in addition to numerous fire and damage experts all looking to prove their case. Each Tampa criminal attorney in our firm knows the tricks of their trade and how to combat their accusations. Our Tampa arson attorneys understand that despite all the whistles and bells, shows of force and intimidation, if the State can’t positively identify who committed the crime they can’t earn a conviction against our client. We know that for each opinion the State’s expert is willing to give, there is another expert out there that can discredit the State’s assertion. At the end of the day, we have in the past and will continue to meet force with force in our pursuit to defend you against serious criminal allegations. If you find yourself subject to an arson investigation or charged with with the same, don’t delay, call our office immediately. Contact us at 813-444-7435.