Indiana Arson Laws

People commit arson when they deliberately set fires to (or detonate explosives in) buildings, wildlife areas, or other structures and the action results in property damage. Although the intention is usually to cause damage to property, the potential for personal injury is high. This makes arson a very dangerous and serious crime that is punished accordingly.

Arson Felony Categories

Indiana doesn't divide arson into degrees, but the state does have different felony levels for arson offenses. Level 2 is the highest level for arson and carries the highest penalties and Level 6 is the least serious offense with the least severe penalties. It's considered a "wobbler" offense, which means that the crime can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

An individual commits a separate offense for each person who suffers a bodily injury or serious bodily injury that is caused by the violation of Indiana's arson laws.

Indiana Arson Laws at a Glance

An attorney's statutory analysis is preferable, especially when it comes to criminal law and complex cases. However, anyone can get to the essence of a statute with a no-nonsense explanation written in everyday language. The chart below is intended to explain Indiana arson laws.

Statute

Indiana Code Section 35-43-1-1

 

Felony Level 4,3,2 Arson

 

Arson: Level 4 Felony

An individual (by means of fire, explosive, or destructive device) knowingly or intentionally damages:

  • A dwelling of another person without the other person's consent;
  • Property of any person under circumstances that endanger human life;
  • Property of another person without the other person's consent if the pecuniary loss is at least $5,000; or
  • A structure used for religious worship without the consent of the owner of the structure.

Level 2 if it results in serious bodily injury to any person other than the defendant.

Arson For Hire: Level 4 Felony

  • Level 3 if it results in bodily injury to any other person.
  • Level 2 if it results in serious bodily injury to any other person.

Level 3 if it results in bodily injury to any other person besides the defendant.

Level 2 if it results in serious bodily injury to any person other than the defendant.

Felony Level 6 Arson

Arson with intent to defraud: damages another's property with the intent to defraud is a Level 6 felony.

Arson damaging another's property without their consent and resulting financial loss is at least $250 but less than $5,000 is a Level 6 felony.

Possible Penalties

The actual penalties depend on the specific circumstances of the case and on factors such as the defendant's criminal history.

Level 2 Arson is punishable by 10-30 years in prison, fine up to $10,000.

Level 3 Arson is punishable by 3-16 years in prison, fine up to $10,000.

Level 4 Arson is punishable by 2-12 years in prison, fine up to $10,000.

Level 6 Arson may be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

  • Misdemeanor sentence: Punishable by a minimum of 6 months in jail.
  • Felony sentence: Up to 2 ½ years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Indiana Arson Laws: Related Resources

Get an Attorney's Help for Your Indiana Arson Case

Because arson is such a major crime, it's important to get a handle on your case because of the severe penalties. If you're accused of breaking Indiana's arson laws, then you need to get help immediately. Don't delay contacting an experienced criminal defense attorney who can advocate on your behalf.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.