By Carlos Gamino

Arson is a serious crime in Wisconsin, and it’s one that could put you behind bars. But what if your case is more complex than that, such as committing arson to get insurance money? This guide explains the possible penalties you’re facing if a court convicts you of this crime.

Arson and Insurance Money

Insurance fraud totals around $80 billion every year, in many of those cases involve arson. But before we get into fraud, a basic definition is in order: Arson is the willful act of setting something on fire or using an explosive to intentionally damage property.

Many people commit arson this because they can receive a payout from their insurance company. (Others have other reasons.) But in a case like this, there are actually two crimes: the arson itself and insurance fraud. Both are very serious, and both can put you behind bars for quite some time.

Under Wisconsin law, these two crimes are lumped together and turned into a Class H felony. The actual crime is called arson with intent to defraud, and it involves intentionally damaging any building with the intent to defraud that building’s insurer. If you’re convicted of this type of crime, you could be facing a maximum term of imprisonment of six years (with three years of initial confinement and three years of extended supervision). you may also have to pay fines of up to $10,000.

Related: The real truth about lie detector tests

What Should You Do if You’re Accused of Arson With Intent to Defraud?

If you’ve been accused of arson with intent to defraud, you may want to talk to an attorney as quickly as possible. That’s because an attorney can help prevent you from saying anything that could come back to haunt you when you’re speaking to investigators. Your attorney can also help preserve your rights while you’re in jail awaiting trial, while you are out on bond, or while you are at trial period your lawyer will defend you in court and make sure that your side of the story comes out.

One of the biggest benefits to working with an attorney, however, is the peace of mind you get. your lawyer is there to answer your questions every step of the way while protecting your rights.

Related: What penalties can you face for attempting a crime in Wisconsin?

Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Arson With Intent to Defraud?

If you’ve been accused of arson with intent to defraud, we may be able to help you. Call our office at 414-383-6700 to schedule a free consultation within attorney who will be happy to look over the circumstances of your case.

Attorney Carlos Gamino