Massachusetts General Law Chapter 266, Section 1 governs arson.  The law states as follows:



Section 1.  "Whoever wilfully and maliciously sets fire to, burns, or causes to be burned, or whoever aids, counsels or procures the burning of, a dwelling house, or a building adjoining or adjacent to a dwelling house, or a building by the burning whereof a dwelling house is burned, whether such dwelling house or other building is the property of himself or another and whether the same is occupied or unoccupied, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than twenty years, or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one half years, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The words “dwelling house”, as used in this section, shall mean and include all buildings used as dwellings such as apartment houses, tenement houses, hotels, boarding houses, dormitories, hospitals, institutions, sanatoria, or other buildings where persons are domiciled."



Acccidendal or negligent burning of a dwelling or building is not arson. The prosecutor must prove that you acted willfully or maliciously. Often times these crimes are prosecuted based on circumstancial evidence with expert testimony to prove the fire was not an accident.




Contact an Expert Violent Crimes Attorney


At the Law Offices of Michael R. St. Louis, we are fully prepared to handle your arson case. As a leading Boston criminal defense law firm, we can provide you with the direction and legal counsel you need to fight your misdemeanor or felony charges. Call our Law Offices today for your initial consultation at 781-816-3950 or contact us online.



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