An Illinois woman pleaded guilty to arson and child endangerment in a case that occurred recently in Bloomington, according to an article by The Pantagraph.
This incident traces back to September 3, 2019. At that time, the Illinois woman was at her residence in the 9000 block of Fond Du Lac Drive in Bloomington. The woman’s husband and child were also home at that point.
After her spouse broached the topic of a divorce, the Illinois woman left the residence briefly. Then she returned and started a fire in the bedroom, knowing that her husband and child were still present in the residence.
As a result of this incident, the Illinois woman faced charges for arson, child endangerment, and several other offenses. Although this woman reduced her sentence through a plea agreement, it seems like a suitable opportunity to review the Illinois statutes that govern arson and child endangerment offenses.
Child Endangerment Laws and Penalties in Illinois
720 ILCS 5/12C-5 establishes the Illinois laws against child endangerment. Under this section, a person commits child endangerment if they knowingly:
- Jeopardize the safety of a child’s life or health or permit such action to occur; or
- Place a child in circumstances that could jeopardize their life or health or permit such action to occur.
The Illinois penalties for child endangerment also appear under Section 12C-5. In most situations, child endangerment is punishable as follows:
- First Offense — Class A misdemeanor and the possibility of 12 months in county jail and criminal fines up to $2,500; or
- Second or Subsequent Offense — Class 3 felony and the possibility of 24 to 60 months in prison and criminal fines up to $25,000.
Arson Laws and Penalties in Illinois
720 ILCS 5/20-1 furnishes the Illinois laws against arson. Under this section, a person commits arson if they knowingly use fire or explosive to:
- Damage another person’s real or person property (worth more $150) without consent; or
- Damage any real or personal property (worth more $150) with the intent to defraud an insurer.
In addition to the standard arson offense described above, there are two other versions based on the location of conduct:
- Residential Arson — A person commits arson and partially or completely damages any building or structure that is the residence of another person; and
- Place of Worship Arson — A person commits arson and partially or completely damages any place of religious worship.
The Illinois penalties for arson also appear under Section 20-1. A standard arson crime is usually charged as a Class 2 felony. If convicted for this felony, the penalties can include 36 to 84 months in prison and criminal fines up to $25,000.
On the other hand, residential and place of worship arson offenses are generally charged as Class 1 felonies. If convicted for this felony, the penalties can include 48 to 180 months in prison and criminal fines up to $25,000.
Do You Need Legal Help?
No matter what the criminal offense, all charges are serious. A sound strategy and an aggressive defense are essential for a positive outcome. To protect your rights in such situations, it is highly advisable to retain legal counsel from an experienced criminal defense attorney.
The Prior Law Firm in Bloomington, Illinois, has proven experience in matters of criminal defense. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free consultation. You can reach The Prior Law Firm by phone at (309) 827-4300, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing an online form.