Arson is the act of intentionally setting fire to property—including a structure such as a house or building or someone else’s belongings—which results in partial or complete damage. In Oklahoma, there are four levels or degrees of arson, all of which are considered felonies.
- First-degree arson is a willful and malicious act of burning, setting fire or destroying property by the use of an explosive device, heat-producing device or ignition device. In order to constitute first-degree arson, the property that was set on fire must be a building or structure that was inhabited or occupied by at least one person.
- Second-degree arson involves setting fire to a building or structure that is uninhabited or unoccupied. However, it is important to note that under Oklahoma law, you may still be charged with arson in the first degree if the building is normally used for lodging, even if no one was inside at the time the fire was set.
- Third-degree arson is burning, setting fire to or destroying by explosive device any property valued at $50 or more.
- Fourth-degree arson is the attempt to burn, set fire to or destroy by explosive or incendiary device any property valued at $50 or more.
Penalties for Arson
The penalties for arson in Oklahoma are broken down as follows:
- First degree: fine of up to $25,000 and up to 35 years in prison
- Second degree: fine of up to $20,000 and up to 25 years in prison
- Third degree: fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison
- Fourth degree: fine of up to $5,000 and up to 10 years imprisonment