Third-Degree Arson

Criminal Defense Lawyer John L. Calcagni, III

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Under Rhode Island criminal law, Third-Degree Arson may be found under Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-4-4. This offense penalizes the conduct of knowingly and intentionally causing damage or destruction of any property by means of fire or explosion with the intent to defraud an insurer.  

This offense is typically charged in connection with an allegation of insurance fraud where the owner of a property intentionally damages or destroys the property by fire as a scheme or plan designed to make a fraudulent insurance claim. 

Legal Elements of Third-Degree Arson

In order to be convicted of Third-Degree Arson, there must exist strong evidence of the following legal elements:

  1. that the defendant caused, procured, aided, counseled the damage or destruction to any property, whether realty or personal
  2. that the defendant did so by means of fire or explosion
  3. the defendant did so knowingly and intentionally
  4. did so for the purpose of defrauding an insurer

Potential Punishment if Convicted of Third-Degree Arson in Rhode Island

Under Rhode Island criminal law, a conviction for Third-Degree Arson is a Felony and the defendant shall be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years.  

Furthermore, whenever a death occurs to a person as a direct result of the defendant’s conduct, a term of imprisonment shall not be for less than twenty (20) years. These penalties regarding Third-Degree Arson may be found at Rhode Island General Laws, Section 11-4-4.


If you have been charged with Third-Degree Arson and need representation, contact the Rhode Island Arson Lawyers of the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.