Ypsilanti, MI asked in Criminal Law for Michigan

Q: Is an attempted arson a felony?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Jeffrey Noe
Jeffrey Noe
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Canton, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: If someone actually attempts to commit arson, it may be a felony. It depends on the value of the property involved and whether the person has prior convictions for arson or attempted arson. The most likely statute for someone to be charged under for attempted arson is MCL 750.79. The statute is a lot more specific than a general "attempted arson." The statute requires someone to use a flammable, combustible, or explosive liquid or material near a building or personal property with intent to commit arson or to aid or abet someone else in doing so. As you can see, you might consider this more than an attempt. Many non-laywers might think something is an attempted crime when the law would not consider it an "attempt." Generally, for "attempt" type crimes, the law requires substantial action on the part of the alleged criminal. It's not enough that s/he think about committing the crime. It's generally not enough that someone buy general materials that might help commit the crime (like gasoline). The accused must generally go beyond mere preparation and actually take some steps toward committing the crime.

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