Juveniles Admit Committing Arson in Utah

Three kids have admitted to committing arson in Utah at a Magna LDS church by setting hymnbooks on fire.

Photo: Samuel M. Livingston

The fire was first noticed by a passerby Monday morning. When fire officials arrived, the building was filled with smoke. It’s believed that the kids entered the church house through a door that was either broken or forced opened. Damages appear to be at least $500,000.

In addition to being charged with arson in Utah, the kids may be charged with additional crimes—including burglary.

Definition of Burglary

Burglary in Utah is defined as:

• Entering or remaining unlawfully in a building with the intent to commit a felony, theft, assault, lewdness, sexual battery, lewdness involving a child or voyeurism.

Burglary is a third degree felony unless committed in a residence, in which case it’s a second degree felony.

What is Arson?

Arson in Utah can be charged if a person uses fire or explosives to intentionally damage any property for the purposes of committing insurance fraud or any property belonging to someone else. If you commit arson and cause damages of $5000 or more, you will be charged with a second degree felony.

There are several other lesser charges for arson; most depend on the cost of damages and whether or not someone is injured. Aggravated arson in Utah occurs when someone sets fire to a residence or a car or structure when someone not involved in the arson is inside.

Most kids are charged with offenses in Utah juvenile court; under some circumstances they may have their case moved to adult court and suffer penalties usually reserved for those over 18.

Because you don’t know what will happen with your child’s case, it’s important to have a Utah juvenile defense attorney represent your son or daughter from the beginning. Kids deserve to have qualified legal representation, too, and need it as much as an adult. Talk to an experienced Utah juvenile defense attorney today.

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