Arson

Arson 2015-06-10T09:00:35+00:00

Arson

Brad Smith is an experienced Vancouver & Kamloops criminal defence lawyer who defends people charged with Arson.

The Criminal Code creates several Arson offences. If you are convicted of an Arson offence there is a good chance you will receive a jail sentence. For some Arson offences, serving a jail sentence in the community under a Conditional Sentence Order is not an available sentencing option. A criminal record for an Arson offence will negatively affect your life in many ways.

Click on the links below to find out more about Arson offences.

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  • Criminal Code, section 433

433. Every person who intentionally or recklessly causes damage by fire or explosion to property, whether or not that person owns the property, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for life where

(a) the person knows that or is reckless with respect to whether the property is inhabited or occupied; or

(b) the fire or explosion causes bodily harm to another person.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
    • life imprisonment
  • Minimum Sentence
    • none
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • not available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • not available

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  • Criminal Code, section 434

434. Every person who intentionally or recklessly causes damage by fire or explosion to property that is not wholly owned by that person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
    • 14 years
  • Minimum Sentence
    • none
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • not available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • not available

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  • Criminal Code, section 434.1

434.1 Every person who intentionally or recklessly causes damage by fire or explosion to property that is owned, in whole or in part, by that person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years, where the fire or explosion seriously threatens the health, safety or property of another person.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
    • 14 years
  • Minimum Sentence
    • none
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
    • not available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
    • not available

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  • Criminal Code, section 435

435. (1) Every person who, with intent to defraud any other person, causes damage by fire or explosion to property, whether or not that person owns, in whole or in part, the property, is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years.

(2) Where a person is charged with an offence under subsection (1), the fact that the person was the holder of or was named as a beneficiary under a policy of fire insurance relating to the property in respect of which the offence is alleged to have been committed is a fact from which intent to defraud may be inferred by the court.

  • Indictable Offence
  • Maximum Sentence
  • 10 years
  • Minimum Sentence
  • none
  • Discharge (no criminal record)
  • available
  • Conditional Sentence (jail in the community)
  • not available

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In the Canadian criminal justice system, the accused has a constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. This right is guaranteed in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. What this means is that the prosecution has to prove every element of an Arson charge. The accused does not have to prove anything. All of the admissible evidence taken together must satisfy a judge or a jury that the offence of Arson has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

If the prosecution is successful the accused will be found “guilty” and be convicted. If the prosecution fails to prove the accused committed the offence of Arson he or she will be found “not guilty” and acquitted of the charge.