New law means new penalties for arsonists
Published 9:02 am Tuesday, July 30, 2013
ST. PAUL — Costly-to-fight wildfires that are intentionally set in Minnesota will soon carry tougher penalties under a new law.
The enhanced arson law was passed in May and goes live on Thursday. It builds off an existing wildfire arson law.
Now, a fire that does damage or poses a threat to five or more buildings, burns 500 acres or more or does significant crop damage can result in a felony charge. It would carry up to 10 years in prison and the potential for a $15,000 fine.
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The punishment gets more severe if the number of affected properties climbs above 100 buildings or dwellings or if a fire causes bodily harm.
People convicted under the law could also be subject to greater restitution costs than they were under a prior statute.