John W. Tumelty Logo



Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

View More Criminal Defense ResultsView More DWI Defense Results Free Consultation

Arson Charges and Their Associated Degrees

Arson has a number of different types of degrees assessed with the severity of the crime and the facts of the specific circumstance will dictate which type of charge you may be facing. In general, arson refers to the willful, intentional or active burning of a building or other structure. You may also be accused of other crimes in conjunction with arson. The degrees of arson will often determine the severity of the conviction sentences.

Factors That Influence Degrees of Arson

There are various elements that investigators use to determine the severity of the degree to be assessed. This includes the actual burning of the structure or items, the intent, the fact that it’s a dwelling and the fact that it belongs to someone else. There may be some variations in the degrees based on state laws and the individual circumstances surrounding the fires that were caused.

The different laws will also have explanations about the standard rules as well. The amount of damages typically what classifies an arson from first to third degree criminal acts and therefore, this could be associated with increased or decreased sentencing depending on the level of a degree.

Three Degrees of Arson Charges in NJ

The first three degrees of arson involve facts of the case. However, an aggravated arson charge may apply with the intent or intentional setting of the fire based on numerous other factors. First degree occurs when a building is burned with the knowledge that someone is in the building, second degree occurs when there is an empty building burned, and third degree involves property or an area that has been destroyed by fire while no one is present.

Do I Really Need a Lawyer For Arson Charges?

All of these can severely impact the life of a person who has been accused and should be taken seriously by hiring a knowledgeable defense attorney immediately. At the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty, you’ll get an honest appraisal of your case so you know how to move forward.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

Free Consultation

"*" indicates required fields