Hackensack NJ Arson Attorneys

An arson charge in Bergen County can arise out of countless scenarios, including something that started out as an innocent prank. What started out as just stupid prank can quickly turn into a nightmare if you or a loved one is charged with arson.  Arson is a very serious charge in New Jersey and the applicable penalties for anyone convicted of arson can be devastating not only on your life but your loved ones as well. A defendant charged with arson might also find themselves facing burglary, criminal mischief, trespassing or disorderly conduct charges as well. The governing statute in New Jersey for the offense of arson is N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1. Arson can be a very difficult charge to prove, therefore, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense firm about protecting your interests before you give any type of statement to law enforcement. Our law firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has the experience and knowledge to defend these charges since we have:

  • Over two-hundred (200) years of combined experience
  • A team of ten (10) criminal defense attorneys that devote their entire practice to criminal law
  • Our firm has seven (7) former prosecutors
    • Three (3) of our attorneys were former assistant county prosecutors and held directorial positions of the Drug, Gang, and Gun Task Force, Major Crimes Division, Trial Division, Juvenile Division
    • Three (3) of our attorneys were former municipal prosecutors in over twenty-five (25) towns
  • One (1) of our attorneys is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction held by less than 1% of attorneys in this State
  • One (1) of our lawyers was recently selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2020 list for New Jersey which is a highly credentialed, peer-influenced, third-party validated, and a patented process that selects only 2.5% of the attorneys in New Jersey to this list
  • Selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40


If you or a loved one has been charged with  arson, burglary trespassingstalkingaggravated assault in Bergen County, we can help. Our office has extensive experience representing clients charged with arson in courts like Mahwah, LyndhurstParamus, Fair Lawn, WestwoodSaddle Brook and Teaneck. As stated above, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 200 years of combined experience on staff, including seven former prosecutors. We have the experience required to handle this type of severe charge. Please give one of our three offices in Hackensack, Fort Lee or Paramus a call at 201-429-9783, we’re available 24/7.

Arson Attorneys in Paramus NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:17-1

The State must prove at least three material elements:

  1. That the defendant starteda fire or explosion;
  2. It was defendant’s purposeto start a fire or explosion; &
  3. One of the next five alternatives occurred:
    1. The defendant placed an individual, besides himself, in “danger of death or bodily injury” and he/she acted with a “conscious disregard of the substantial and unjustifiable risk of this danger” {i.e Recklessly} OR
    2. The defendant placed a building in “danger of damage or destruction” and he/she acted with a “conscious disregard of the substantial and unjustifiable risk of that danger {i.e Recklessly}; OR
    3. The defendants purpose in committing the said arson was to collect insurance for the destruction or damage to the property in question; OR
    4. The defendants purpose was to destroy or damage a structure in order to “exempt the structure, completely or partially, from the provisions of any State, county or local zoning, planning or building law, regulation, ordinance or enactment”; OR
    5. The defendant acted recklesslyin starting the fire or explosion that placed a forest in danger of damage or destruction.

Grading of the Offense & Applicable Penalties:

Typically, arson is a crime of the third degree {felony}. However, the legislatures have also included two other separate arson offenses; aggravated arson, which is a crime of the second degree and arson for consideration, which is a crime of the first degree.

As stated above, arson is typically a third degree crime. A third degree crime in New Jersey carries with it a non-presumption of incarceration, however, that presumption may be overcome and if it is a defendant may face up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison. Normally, an individual charged with arson would not be entitled to Pre-Trial Intervention (“PTI”), which is a diversionary program in New Jersey. However, that restriction has been relaxed over the years and if you are able to enter the PTI program you will have the opportunity to walk away from the charges without a record.

Fort Lee NJ Arson Lawyer

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has been representing individuals charged with arson throughout Bergen County, including towns like BergenfieldSaddle BrookFair LawnRamsey and Cliffside Park for over fifteen years. If you have any further questions with regards to the offense of arson, please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation.