In Tennessee, if someone knowingly damages any structure, vehicle, boat or forest land, by means of a fire or explosion, they have committed arson, when the following parameters are met:

  • It is done without the consent of anyone with possessory, proprietary or security interest
  • When the intent is to destroy or damage any structure or vehicle to collect insurance for the damage or destruction or for any other unlawful purpose.
  • When a fire is deliberately set to cover up another crime, such as murder.


When authorities suspect arson, the most elite law enforcement experts are called into action. So, if you face arson charges, you need to call our experts as soon as possible James R. Owen and his team have the knowledge to defend you against the most sophisticated processes.

Degrees of Arson

When the arson involves land or property that is not a structure, it is a Class E Felony. A conviction could result in a sentence of one to six years and/or a $3000 fine.

When the property is unoccupied, in most cases, arson would be classified as a Class C felony.  A conviction could result in a penalty of 3 to 6 years in prison. For someone with an extensive criminal history, the sentence could be as much as 15 years.

The charge is upgraded to Class B, if the arson occurs in a place of worship or in a tax exempt property used by religious institutions.

The most serious offense is Aggravated Arson. It is a Class A felony. In these cases, arson is committed on an occupied structure and/or the arson causes serious bodily injury to a firefighter or emergency worker. Class A felony convictions can result in a sentence of 15 to 25 years in prison, if the accused has a limited criminal history. For people with an extensive criminal history, a conviction could result in a 60 year sentence.

If a defendant committed arson with the intent to profit from the insurance proceeds the defendant could also face insurance fraud charges and theft charges. Arson investigators and prosecutors frequently target the individuals with the potential to have financial gain in suspicious fire investigations.

All of these crimes are too serious to fight without the help of an experienced, investigative legal team. James R. Owen will make sure you get the best defense.  


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