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What is aggravated arson in New Jersey?

Like most people in New Jersey, you have likely heard references made to arson over the years. While you likely know that it involves the illegal setting of fires, do you really know all that a criminal charge of arson may relate to? If you are charged with such a crime, you will want to educate yourself about it.

The New Jersey Courts explain the definition and criteria by which a person may be found guilty of aggravated arson. Perhaps one of the first things that you may find interesting is that it is not only setting a fire that can lead to an arson charge but also the instigation of an explosion. There is no restriction on where these acts can take place--even explosions or fires that occur in forests can be considered arson if they meet other criteria.

Prosecutors must prove at least two things in a criminal aggravated arson case. The first thing they must prove is that a named defendant did, in fact, cause the explosion or set the fire in question. However, a guilty verdict cannot be returned on that basis alone. Prosecutors must also be able to prove that a defendant consciously took such actions with the goal of causing some form of harm, damage or death.

Among the motivations for causing these actions include the receipt of insurance money. All accusations must be able to be proven to the criminal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but general information about criminal arson charges in New Jersey.


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