§ 806.01(1).  Arson – First Degree.

The crime of Arson in the First Degree is a First Degree Felony in Florida and is punishable by imprisonment not exceeding 30 years and a maximum fine of $10,000.

This offense occurs when a person:

Willfully uses fire or explosion to damage

  • Any dwelling
  • Any structure that is normally occupied
  • Any other structure that the offender had reasonable grounds to believe was occupied by a human being

Some Defenses to Arson – First Degree are:

  • Structure was not normally occupied – charge should be 2nd Degree Arson.  [1, 3]
    • An abandoned building or other building that one may have reason to believe is not normally occupied should be a 2nd Degree Arson charge. 
  • Lack of Intent to Damage the Property of Others [2]
    • Lack of Intent means an accidental fire is not 2nd Degree Arson. 
  • Insufficient Evidence and Circumstantial Evidence. [2]

There are other possible defenses which I can explore with you during our Free Initial Consultation.

Contact Criminal Defense Attorney
Glenn M. Swiatek

Free Initial Consultation

If you have been arrested or believe you will soon be arrested for the offense of Arson- First Degree in Northwest Florida please contact our office immediately at (850) 609‑0940.

Initial Office Consults are free, and I will make myself available to suit your schedule.

Get the peace of mind that an attorney with over twenty-three years of criminal law experience can bring when you are charged with Arson – First Degree.


    1.  Stevens v. State, 226 So. 3d 787 (Fla. 2017)
    2. Moberly v. State, 562 So. 2d 773 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1990).
    3. Neilson v. State, 713 So. 2d 1110 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1998).