Arkansas

1st Degree Criminal Mischief Laws

Under Arkansas law, criminal mischief in the first degree involves someone purposefully causing damage to someone else’s property or their own property in an attempt to collect insurance payments.

In cases where the damage is valued at over $500, the offense is charged as a Class C felony which is punishable by 3-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

If the value of damage is less than $500, however, the charge is typically a Class A misdemeanor and carries a potential sentence of up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.

Ref: Arkansas Code §5-38-203

2nd Degree Criminal Mischief

Second degree criminal mischief involves recklessly damaging or destroying the property of another or purposefully tampering with the property of another to cause them substantial inconvenience.

If the damage is valued at more than $2,500, the charge is a Class D felony which carries a potential sentence of up to 6 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines

If the value of damage is between $1,000 and $2,5000 the offense is a Class A misdemeanor and punishable by up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines

If the damage is valued at less than $1,000 the offense is charged as a Class B misdemeanor and carries a potential penalty of up to 90 days in jail and $500 in fines.

Ref: Arkansas Code §5-38-204

Impairing the Operation of a Vital Public Facility

A rare but serious offense, you can be charged with this crime if the prosecution has reason to believe that you knowingly caused a substantial interruption or impairment of an operation of a vital public facility by damaging property or incapacitating an operator of a vital public facility.

In all cases, this offense is a Class C felony which is punishable by 3-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Ref: Arkansas Code §5-38-205

Arkansas Reckless Burning Laws

Less serious than Arson, reckless burning involves purposefully starting a fire or causing an explosion, whether on your property or the property of another and thereby recklessly:

1.      Creating a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to any person,

2.      Destroying or causing substantial damage to an inhabitable structure, or

3.      Destroying or causing substantial damage to a vital public facility.

Reckless burning is a Class D felony punishable by up to 6 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Ref: Arkansas Code §5-38-302

Arkansas Arson Laws

There are several acts that could get you charged with arson. If the prosecution has probable cause that you started a fire or caused an explosion with the purpose of destroying or otherwise damaging:

1.      Another person’s structure or vehicle that is able to be occupied,

2.      Any property for the purpose of collecting insurance,

3.      Any property if the act creates a risk of death or serious physical injury to someone,

4.      A vital public facility, or

5.      Church property or property used as a place of worship.

You can also be charged if you recklessly start a fire or cause an explosion in the commission of a felony or when fleeing the scene of a felony.

The charge you face and potential sentence depend on the value damage done.

Arson Damage Charge Penalty
Less than $500 Class A misdemeanor Up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines
$500- $2,500 Class D felony Up to 6 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
$2,500- $5,000 Class C felony 3-10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines
$5,000- $15,000 Class B felony 5-20 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
$15,000- $100,000 Class A felony 6-30 years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines
More than $100,000 Class Y felony 10- 40 years in prison and $15,000 in fines

Ref: Arkansas Code §5-38-301

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