The fire was begun at the Hampton Court Apartments, located near the intersection of Lake Mead Parkway and Warm Springs, and though it started on the first floor, it quickly led to the second. All in all, after the damage was tabulated by the Henderson Fire Department, it appears that the arson led to over $100,000 in damages to the apartment complex.
The suspect, named as Tashika Coleman, is a 42-year-old woman who is now facing charges of first-degree arson.
Arson is a very serious crime in Nevada, with those charged facing not only felony consequences, but also up to 15 years in prison. The degree of the arson is important in the penalties is brings along with it–for instance, in the case of Ms. Coleman, first-degree arson is considered to be the worst, with a prison term from 2-15 years and fines of up to $15,000 dollars.
The amount of damage that an arson causes typically will establish the degree, with more severe crimes like setting an apartment on fire being first degree, while lesser arsons will array from second to fourth degree, carrying lesser fines and prison sentences. In addition to the fines levied against someone for committing an act of arson, a judge may also decide that the suspect must pay restitution for the damages caused.
In this case, Ms. Coleman would be expected to pay back some of the over $100,000 in damages caused by her actions.
Arson may not always stem from a malicious act, although law enforcement and the fire department may see it differently than that. Oftentimes, it can be argued that the fire was not the fault of the accused and instead happened naturally, or due to a false accusation from the real arsonist.
This is why it is crucial that those accused of criminal acts, whether falsely or otherwise, should always have a criminal defense attorney like Nicholas Wooldridge on speed dial to help fight charges like this.
A fire can be a devastating event, and it can be made even worse by a nosy fire official or police officer who is sure that they know the “true” story behind accidental events. Because insurance fraud is so widespread, officials have learned to be wary of just about any red flags that may pop up during the investigation of a fire. However, that does not mean that arson is necessarily the cause, even if that is their conclusion.
In your fight against unfair or false criminal charges, it pays to have a criminal defense lawyer on your side who can help to defend your innocence. While every criminal charge and investigation is different, hiring an attorney who has experience in defending against these types of crimes is extremely important to receiving a positive outcome for your case, whether that means charges dismissed or just a lighter sentence than you would’ve gotten otherwise.
Contact Mr. Wooldridge today to set up your introductory consultation to speak about your particular case. A free and personalized introduction will help you to decide the next best steps for your case and your freedom.