Michael Juskey is a Toronto Arson lawyer with experience defending individuals who are accused of starting fires. Arson is an extremely serious criminal offence which involves the deliberate damage of property by fire. These are serious cases that can result in bodily harm, death and substantial property damage. Disclosure in these cases typically contains witness statements, police notes, photographs and most importantly, a Fire Marshal’s report. The Criminal Code of Canada contains three Arson offences.
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.
This offence is straight indictable and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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.
This offence is also straight indictable and carries a maximum penalty of fourteen years in a penitentiary,
436. (1) Every person who owns, in whole or in part, or controls property is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years where, as a result of a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would use to prevent or control the spread of fires or to prevent explosions, that person is a cause of a fire or explosion in that property that causes bodily harm to another person or damage to property.
Arson by negligence is straight indictable and carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.