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Property Crimes: Reckless Burning


Reckless Burning: Property Crimes

Reckless Burning Attorneys

Legal Definition:

Reckless burning is crime that involves illegally setting fire to something not of building proportions, such as leaves or trash. It is a lesser charge than arson. It is usually enacted in Utah during times of high fire danger, to prevent people from starting fires that could get out of control; or when such a fire does get out of control, and endangers life or property.

Reckless Burning

Utah Code §76-1-104

Degree

Depending on the facts, reckless burning can be charged as a class A misdemeanor, class B misdemeanor, class C misdemeanor or infraction.

Elements

The accused commits a class A misdemeanor reckless burning when they:

  • recklessly start a fire or cause an explosion which endangers human life;
  • or having started a fire, whether recklessly or not, and knowing that it is spreading and will endanger the life or property of another, either fail to take reasonable measures to put out or control the fire or fail to give a prompt fire alarm.

A defendant commits a class A misdemeanor reckless burning when they damage the property of another by reckless use of fire or cause an explosion that causes damage to the property that is or exceeds $1,5000 in value.

The accused commits a class B misdemeanor reckless burning when they build or maintain a fire without taking reasonable steps to remove all flammable materials surrounding the site of the fire as necessary to prevent the fire's spread or escape.

A defendant commits a class B misdemeanor reckless burning when they damage the property of another by reckless use of fire or cause an explosion that causes damage to the property that is or exceeds $500 but is less than $1,500 in value.

A defendant commits a class C misdemeanor reckless burning when they build or maintain a fire without taking reasonable steps to remove all flammable materials surrounding the site of the fire as necessary to prevent the fire's spread or escape.

A defendant commits a class C misdemeanor reckless burning when they damage the property of another by reckless use of fire or cause an explosion that causes damage to the property that is or exceeds $150 but is less than $500 in value.

The accused commits an infraction reckless burning when they damage the property of another by reckless use of fire or cause an explosion that causes damage to the property that is less than $150 in value.

Fine

Class A misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $2,500, plus a 90% surcharge.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-301(1)(c), Utah Code Ann. §51-9-401)
Class B misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $1,000, plus a 90% surcharge.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-301(1)(d), Utah Code Ann. §51-9-401)
Class C misdemeanor: A fine not to exceed $750, plus a 35% surcharge.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-301(1)(e), Utah Code Ann. §51-9-401)
Infraction: A fine not to exceed $750, plus a 35% surcharge.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-301(1)(e), Utah Code Ann. §51-9-401)

Restitution

The court may order the accused to pay restitution if convicted of this crime.
(Utah Code Ann. §77-38a-301)

Imprisonment

Class A misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 1 year.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-204(1))
Class B misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 6 months.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-204(2))
Class C misdemeanor: A term in jail not to exceed 90 days.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-204(3))
Infraction: No jail.
(Utah Code Ann. §76-3-205)

DNA Specimen Analysis

A defendant convicted of a class A misdemeanor reckless burning must provide a DNA specimen.
(Utah Code Ann. §53-10-403(2))


Other Criminal Charges

Learn more about crimes related to reckless burning. If you have any questions, please feel free to call our office at (801) 505-1586.

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