Illinois Aggravated Arson

The Law – 720 ILCS 5/20-1.1

A person commits aggravated arson when, while in the course of committing arson, the person knowingly damages any building or structure, including watercraft, and:

  1. The person knows or reasonably should know that one or more persons are present; or

  2. Any person suffers great bodily harm, or permanent disability or disfigurement due to the fire or explosion; or

  3. A fireman, policeman or correctional officer who is present at the scene is injured in the line of duty.

As with the crime of arson, there are many issues that are involved with a charge of aggravated arson. The issues that raise the most reasonable doubt are what the alleged offender “knew or should have known”. As always, the State has the burden of proving every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes the issues of whether a victim has suffered “great bodily harm” or whether a disability is “permanent”, as well as other essential elements of the offense.

The Sentence

CLASS X FELONY – 6-30 years prison

Probation Possible? – No

Time To Be Served – Must serve 85% of the sentence imposed

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