The intentional burning of a property or structure is known as Arson. The arson laws of Hanover, Virginia prohibit bombing and burning. Felony is a charge for arson in Hanover, Virginia. Arson is the most serious and one of the most common charge in Hanover, Virginia, VA code § 18.2-77 applies to dwelling and burning house. The law states that intentional destruction or burning by explosive or fire is prohibited, and the violator can earn a 5 year jail time. If the charge is more serious than the violator have to pay a fine up to $100,000 and can be punished for 20 years in prison. There are also a number of other charges as arson in Hanover, Virginia.
Normally a court can assume that the cause of the fire was an accident. This assumption can make the things harder for the law enforcement agency, because arson is charge which is very difficult to prove. To convict this charge, the police department must prove three factors:
- The accused intentionally caused the incendiary act.
- It is a burning act.
- Accused have criminal intentions behind the act.
The Law enforcement agency should also prove that the place destroyed or burned is a resident place for example (A house, flat or a building) to convict a person.
- Burning Prove: The Law enforcement agency is responsible to prove some destruction or burning. According to VA code 18.2-77 slight destruction or burning is enough to convict a person.
- Intentional incendiary Act: To proof an intentional incendiary act the law enforcement agency should look for the different points of origin, the use of accelerants and lack evidence of an accident.
It becomes easy for the law enforcement agency if the accused person accept the criminal act or the law enforcement agency should investigate the charge with circumstantial evidence like changing statements, threats or mental status of the accused person.
The Law enforcement agency should investigate the mental status of the accused in order to prove the charge under the Hanover, Virginia arson law. The law enforcement should prove that the act is malice which means intentional and it can also include violent behavior. If the accused person knows that this act can burn the dwelling or it can destroy the dwelling, then the person can be convicted under arson law.
Punishment for the Crime
The punishment for this crime depends on the situation, that at the time of arson the dwelling was occupied or not. If the dwelling was occupied at the time of burning the accused will be punished for a 5 year jail time or it can be a heavy fine that is up to $100,000, or may be both if the charge is more serious. If the dwelling was unoccupied the punishment for this act is a 2 to 10 year jail time or a fine up to $100,000, or may be both if the charge is more serious. The Hanover, Virginia arson is a class 4 felony charge.