There has been much talk about whether the out-of-control wildfire in Colorado Springs is a result of arson. Additionally, a number of individuals have been recently arrested and/or convicted of arson in recent weeks.
Colorado Springs arson defense lawyers know there are a number of ways that a skilled defense attorney an attack these type of charges, starting with intent.
In order to score a conviction against you for first-degree arson, as spelled out in Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-102, prosecutors have to show that you knowingly or recklessly burned or caused to burn an occupied structure. It’s considered one of the most serious crimes you can commit, particularly if someone has perished, which in the case of the most recent Waldo Canyon fire, at least two have.
One defense is that the fire you set was not intentional. That was reportedly the case for the individual who started the Hewlett Fire. According to The Coloradoan, the Fort Collins man admitted that he had started the nearly 7,700-acre fire back in May. He was able to pay a $300 fine and a $25 processing fee in order to close the criminal case against him.
The newspaper reported that the 56-year-old defendant, a licensed social worker and counselor for Colorado State, reportedly started the fire by using an alcohol-fueled stove while camping. He told investigators that he tried unsuccessfully to stomp it out. But when it began to spread, he was forced to flee. He later reported his own involvement to the sheriff’s deputies in Larimer County.
Federal authorities, who were initially prosecuting the case, are determining a restitution plan, as the fire reportedly cost about $3 million to fight.
Then there was the case in Glenwood Springs. That’s where a 17-year-old is facing fourth-degree arson charges after he allegedly started a wildfire with a sparkler near Roaring Fork River.
It does not appear the teen intended to cause a major fire, but his actions were considered by arresting officers to be reckless. He was additionally charged with possession of alcohol by a minor and possession of an illegal weapon.
Additionally, officials have been questioning numerous individuals about more than a dozen fires in Teller, though no arrests have yet been made.