TITLE 11
Criminal Offenses

 

CHAPTER 11-4
Arson and Fires

 


§ 11-4-2  Arson – First degree. – Any person who knowingly causes, procures, aids, counsels or creates by means of fire or explosion a substantial risk of serious physical harm to any person or damage to any building the property of that person or another, whether or not used for residential purposes, which is occupied or in use for any purpose or which has been occupied or in use for any purpose during the six (6) months preceding the offense or to any other residential structure, shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than five (5) years and may be imprisoned for life, or shall be fined not less than three thousand dollars ($3,000) nor more than twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), or both; provided, further, that whenever a death occurs to a person as a direct result of the fire or explosion or to a person who is directly involved in fighting the fire or explosion, imprisonment shall be for not less than twenty (20) years. In all such cases, the justice may only impose a sentence less than the minimum if he or she finds that substantial and compelling circumstances exist which justify imposition of the alternative sentence. That finding may be based upon the character and background of the defendant, the cooperation of the defendant with law enforcement authorities, the nature and circumstances of the offense, and/or the nature and quality of the evidence presented at trial. If a sentence which is less than imprisonment for the minimum term is imposed, the trial justice shall set forth on the record the circumstances which he or she found as justification for imposition of the lesser sentence.

 

 § 11-4-2.1  Arson – Custody. – Any person who while under arrest or incarcerated knowingly causes, procures, aids, counsels or creates by means of fire or explosion the damage or destruction of any occupied or unoccupied building shall be guilty of arson in the first degree and shall be sentenced as provided in § 11-4-2.

 

  § 11-4-3  Arson – Second degree. – Any person who knowingly causes, aids, procures or counsels by means of fire or explosion the damage or destruction of any unoccupied building, structure or facility the property of that person or another shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years, or shall be fined not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500), or both; provided, that if death occurs to a person as a direct result of the fire or explosion or to a person who is directly involved in fighting the fire or explosion, imprisonment shall be for not less than twenty (20) years.

 

   § 11-4-4  Arson – Third degree. – Any person who knowingly causes, procures, aids or counsels or creates by means of fire or explosion the damage or destruction of any property of that person or another with the purpose to defraud an insurer shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than two (2) years nor more than twenty (20) years or shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or both; provided, that if death occurs to a person as a direct result of the fire or explosion or to a person who is directly involved in fighting the fire or explosion, imprisonment shall be for not less than twenty (20) years.

 

 § 11-4-5  Arson – Fourth degree. – Any person who knowingly causes, procures, aids, counsels or creates by means of fire or explosion damage to or destruction of any personal property valued in excess of one hundred dollars ($100) and the property of another person shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than three (3) years, or shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

 

 § 11-4-6  Arson – Fifth degree. – Any person who knowingly attempts to cause, procure, aid, or counsel by fire or explosion the damage or destruction of any property mentioned in §§ 11-4-2 – 11-4-5 shall, upon conviction, be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than twenty (20) years.

 

  § 11-4-7  Arson – Sixth degree. – Any person who knowingly causes, procures, aids or counsels the destruction of woodlands by fire which shall run and spread at large shall, upon conviction, be imprisoned not exceeding two (2) years, or shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

 

§ 11-4-8  Arson – Seventh degree. – Every person who shall make a bonfire in any public street, road, square, land or rotary, without special permission from the local governing body, shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100). No complaint for a violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be sustained unless it shall be brought within thirty (30) days after the commission of the offense, and all fines for the violation shall inure one-half ( 1/2) of the fine to the complainant and one-half ( 1/2) of the fine to the state. The local governing body may appoint a designee to grant permission under the provisions of this section.

 

 § 11-4-10  Interference with fire alarm apparatus – Penalty. – Every person who unlawfully and without just cause willfully or knowingly tampers with, interferes with or in any way impairs any public fire alarm apparatus, wire or associated equipment shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one thousand ($1,000) nor more than five thousand ($5,000) dollars, or shall be imprisoned for not less than one nor more than five (5) years, or both.