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Criminal Defense Attorneys for Arson Crimes in Cleveland, Ohio

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Generally, Arson occurs when a person causes harm to property by fire or explosion.


In Ohio there are two different types of Arson offenses: “Arson” and “Aggravated Arson.”


The offense of “Arson” occurs when a person, by means of fire or explosion, knowingly causes, or creates a substantial risk, of physical harm to the property of another without that person’s consentor the property of the offender or another with the purpose to defraud. Charges for Arson can range from a Misdemeanor of the 1st degree to a Felony of the 3rd degree depending on the nature of the property involved and the circumstances of the offense. The Ohio Statute for Arson is R.C. 2909.03. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2909.03


“Aggravated Arson” is similar to “Arson,” but is more severe in that the offender creates a substantial risk of serious physical harm to another, causes physical harm to an occupied structure, or creates a substantial risk of physical harm to an occupied structure through the offer or acceptance of an agreement for hire or other consideration. Aggravated Arson is characterized as either a Felony of the 1st or 2nd degree.  The Ohio Statute for “Aggravated Arson” is R.C. 2909.02. http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2909.02

  • A charge of Arson in Ohio is typically a felony offense that carries with it the potential of prison time if convicted.
  • Additionally, what many people do not know is that following a conviction for an Arson offense, Ohio law requires that the name of the person convicted be entered into an Arson Offender Registration Database.
    • Similar to registration for Sex Offenders, the Arson Offender Registration Database includes the person’s name, address, offense of conviction and other personal information.
    • Being an Arson Offender can have extremely negative additional, long-term effects, even years after the offense, such as inability to find employment and/or housing.
  • Further, any individual formally charged or convicted of felony Arson or Aggravated Arson is prohibited from using or owning a firearm under state and federal law.
    • Under state law, any individual that does not comply with R.C. 2923.13 Having weapons while under disability http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/2923.13 is guilty of a Felony of the 3rd
    • Under federal law, any individual convicted of a crime punishable by more than 1 year imprisonment is prohibited from possessing firearms. See, 18 U.S.C. 922(g).


If you or a member of your family has been accused of or charged with any type of Arson offense, it is imperative to obtain legal representation immediately. Evidence that may be crucial to the defense may be lost or destroyed shortly after the incident in question. It is vitally important to investigate the circumstances surrounding the fire or explosion as soon as possible, as you or your loved one’s liberty may depend on a thorough independent examination of the scene of the incident.

Call Zukerman, Lear & Murray Co., L.P.A. today if you or someone you know has been charged with an Arson offense.

Featured Success Stories

Client’s two-car attached garage caught fire, causing significant property damages in excess of $100,000.00. Fire department and insurance company launched investigations into the cause of the fire. ZLM successfully represented Client, who was ultimately not charged with arson. Further, insurance company ultimately paid the property damage claim.
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