Arson charge Calgary

Arson Offences in Calgary

Arson is an offence whose main component is the dangerous use of fire or explosives.

Fire is unpredictable and capable of causing enormous danger to human life and damage to property. Because of this, the Courts tend to take arson charges very seriously, even those that involve relatively small fires. It is therefore critical that you have a competent criminal defence lawyer to thoroughly review the case against you and ensure you get the best result.

There are 5 different arson offences:

  1. Setting a fire that causes bodily harm or being reckless as to whether the property is occupied by one or more people
  2. Setting a fire intentionally or recklessly that causes damage to another person’s property
  3. Setting a fire on your own property that damages your own property and seriously threatens the health, safety, or property of another person
  4. Causing damage by fire to property with the intent of committing fraud (e.g. collecting insurance money)
  5. Letting a fire get out of control and cause bodily harm to another person by being negligent

Bail Condition for Arson Charges

The police take these offences extremely seriously, and often seek very restrictive release terms at the bail stage. If they believe you were intoxicated when you started the fire, or it was committed at night, you will likely face a strict curfew as a condition to your release. In addition, you will face a ban on possessing anything that can be used to start a fire (matches, lighter, gas, propane, etc.)

Defending Arson Charges

Large arsons will often cause the police to send in a large team of specialists to determine the cause and reason for the fire. This in turn will create a great deal of complicated expert evidence and police reports. When the stakes are this high, you will need a confident and diligent defence lawyer to interpret those reports and other information in order to identify and target the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.

Our thorough review of every document generated by the investigation may focus on the following areas:

  • Will the prosecution be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you started the fire or explosion?
  • Is there a credible alternative explanation for the cause of the fire?
  • Are there any eyewitnesses that saw you do it? Are their statements unreliable or untrustworthy?
  • Did anyone else have a motive to start the fire?
  • Did you take all necessary safety precautions before starting the fire?

The Sentence

Depending on which type of arson you are charged with, you could face a maximum jail sentence of 10 years, 14 years, or LIFE.

In addition, the Crown will almost certainly ask the Judge to make an order that you pay the victims back for the full amount of damage caused by the fire or explosion. For all but the smallest fires, this can quickly translate into several thousand dollars.

The consequences are too serious to deal with this offence alone. Let our experienced criminal defence lawyers go to work for you in ensuring the best case is made on your behalf in the sentencing court. We may be able to reduce the amount of damage you are obligated to pay for or arrange a plea to less serious charges. In all cases, we will make sure the Judge is told, in an accurate and persuasive way, about your positive qualities and your future prospects for rehabilitation.

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Michael answered his phone at 10 o’clock at night and he and his associate helped us navigate the intimidating criminal justice system over the next 72 hours. They were available to us 24/7, clearly explained our options at each step and answered all of our questions promptly. It felt like having a guardian angel watching over us. If you have a criminal matter that you need assistance with, this is the man you need to contact.

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I was charged with assault for a minor scuffle. I knew I was in good hands with Michael’s solid legal advice and preparation for my pending case. Because of his knowledge, advice and legal expertise, all charges were dropped. Michael and his team take pride in providing not only the right result, but quality customer service along the way. I heartily recommend Michael Oykhman to anyone seeking legal counsel!

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.

Successful Case Results

Unlawfully in a Dwelling House, Charges Withdraw

Calgary Provincial Court
Case Number: 22601281

Our client was charged with unlawfully being in a dwelling house after it was alleged that he was heavily intoxicated and entered another person’s home without permission, frightening the homeowner who was watching TV in the living room.

Upon being retained we immediately requested disclosure. We were able to get our client into the Alternative Measures Program, and his charge was withdrawn once he completed the program.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

Break and Enter, Theft Under $5000, Possession of Break-In Instruments, Possession of a Weapon for a Dangerous Purpose, Charges Withdrawn

Airdrie Provincial Court
Case Number: 23500891

Our client was facing a number of serious criminal charges after it was alleged that he had broken into a home and had stolen a number of items.

Upon being retained we immediately sought disclosure, including a fingerprint analysis. We determined that the identification of our client as the accused could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. We negotiated with the Crown and they withdrew all of the charges.

Successful Result: Charges Withdrawn

Theft Under $5,000, Charges Withdrawn

Canmore Provincial Court
Case Number: 22601571

Our client was charged with Theft Under $5000 after it was alleged that she had stolen money from her employer.

Once we were retained we sought disclosure and reviewed it with our client. We got our client into the Alternative Measures Program, and the charge was withdrawn upon completion of the program. As a result, our client does not have a criminal record and she was able to continue working abroad teaching English.

Successful Result: Charge Withdrawn, No Criminal Record

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Disclaimer: All results of cases handled by the lawyer/firm are not provided. The results provided are not necessarily representative of results obtained by the lawyer/firm or of the experience of all clients or others with the lawyer/firm. Every case is different, and each client’s case must be evaluated and handled on its own merits.