Intentional Burning of Lands in Florida

Intentional Burning of Lands Attorney

Across the state of Florida, thousands of acres burn down in wildfires every year. As wildfires rip across the land, they destroy everything in their path. Wildlife, forests, crops, and homes are all at-risk of devastation. Although some wildfires occur naturally, others are created by human action. 

When a person causes a wildfire, they can be charged with the intentional burning of lands. Many times, people who are charged with the intentional burning of lands didn’t mean to cause the wildfire. If you or a person you know is facing charges for starting a wildfire in the state of Florida, it’s important to understand the details of the law and how a knowledgeable attorney can assist you in creating a viable defense strategy. 

What Is a Wildfire?

A fire doesn’t have to burn thousands of acres of land to be considered a wildfire. In the state of Florida, any non-structural fire that burns vegetation is considered a wildfire. There are two categories of fires that can result in an intentional burning of lands charge. 

Wildfires fall under two categories: 

  • Prescribed Fires: These fires are started intentionally by park rangers or authorized organizations to manage the landscape of an area. 
  • Wildfires: Wildfires are any type of fire that’s unplanned. Wildfires can naturally occur, be caused by an out-of-control prescribed fire, or be intentionally lit by a person. 

The truth is, no one who innocently lights a fire thinks they’re going to be the cause of a wildfire. Every year, however, unknowing citizens light fires that cause miles of costly devastation. 

What Causes Wildfires in Florida?

According to the National Parks Service, more than 85% of wildfires in the United States are caused by people. Therefore, it’s essential to understand how our actions commonly cause wildfires so they can be prevented in the future. Common causes of wildfires include: 

  • Playing with matches
  • Fireworks
  • Campfires
  • Sparks from motor vehicles
  • Cigarette ashes
  • Escaped controlled fires

Any time a fire is lit, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure it doesn’t escape into the surrounding area and cause a wildfire.

Definition of General Intent Crimes 

When a person is thought to have started a wildfire in the state of Florida, they’re charged with the intentional burning of lands. This charge falls under the category of general intent crimes. General intent crimes are a unique category that doesn’t require the state to prove that a person intended to cause a crime. To successfully charge a person with a general intent crime, the prosecution only has to prove they had a willingness to take actions that caused the crime. In addition to the intentional burning of lands, other examples of general intent crimes include: 

  • DUI
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Arson
  • Rape
  • Manslaughter

If you’re facing charges for a general intent crime such as intentional burning of lands, the best action you can take is to consult a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Penalties for Intentional Burning of Lands in Florida

People charged with the intentional burning of lands in Florida are subject to serious consequences. In Florida, the intentional burning of lands is considered a misdemeanor and carries penalties such as: 

  • Up to 1 year of incarceration
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Probation 

Those charged with intentional burning of lands should contact an attorney as soon as possible after they’ve been charged. A knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer will be able to develop a viable defense strategy that can help to reduce the penalties they face.

Viable Defense Strategies for Intentional Burning of Lands Charges

All knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers understand that the best way to develop a viable defense strategy is to understand the details surrounding the charges. In the state of Florida, viable defense strategies for intentional burning of lands include: 

  • Lack of vegetation
  • Mistaken identity
  • Lack of evidence 

No matter the circumstances surrounding your case, you have the right to a fair trial and an attorney. A competent attorney who is experienced in general intent crimes is the best option for your defense.

Experienced General Intent Crime Attorneys in Orlando, Florida

If you’re facing charges for the intentional burning of lands in Florida, there’s no better time to contact a trustworthy attorney than now. At The Umansky Law Firm, we believe that your life shouldn’t be defined by a single mistake. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our team of lawyers knows what it takes to create a viable defense. And, as former prosecutors, they bring a unique point of view to every case.

To schedule a consultation and talk to a real attorney, call our office at 407-228-3838 or contact us online today.