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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33399
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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I'm do in court today. I am going arson, I was never

Customer Question

I'm do in court today. I am going for me arson, I was never arrested or charged. This happened last october. I was leaving for work, apparently there was a small fire in an artificial plant in the living room. It was burning as I was leaving down the driveway. I still cannot explain why I did not see the glow from it as I was leaving. There were 2 other people in the house. One said he was in the bathroom, the other said she was asleep, with smoke alarms going off. I was the only one questioned, the only one who had my clothes and my hands tested for accelerents and they even let the other 2 leave so my ex boyfriend could take her to school. My question is, is just a video of me leaving while there is a fire enough to get me a guilt verdict from the judge?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts.
Is this a criminal charge for arson or some type of civil case?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It is criminal. It is a m1
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
It shouldn't be enough, without anything more. The burden of proof in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt which would normally require some type of actual link to the crime and not just a proximity relationship that is shared by two other people.
If there were accelerants on your hands, or a video of you passing by the plant while it was on fire, or your DNA on a cigarette butt that was in the plant container, etc. then that would be additional evidence that MIGHT be enough but just a video of you leaving and no evidence you saw the fire or had anything to do with it shouldn't be enough.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No my hands tested negative as did my clothing. And the video shows me walking to my truck and leaving down the driveway. Then about 15 min later I got a call from my ex boyfriend that he just put out a house fire.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What would the reason be that I was never arrested or charged? I was only given a summons in march for an arraignment where I plead not guilty and scheduled for a trial before the judge today
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
I'm no sure why they wouldn't have arrested you. Usually they arrest you on anything above a traffic offense. You've been charged if you're having to go to court.
It could be that your jail is overcrowded and so they're just doing PR bonds automatically on anybody that isn't a felony. I've seen that happen a few times lately.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The summons I got initially said it was a complaint, but I was unaware I was charged. In late September of last year when this happened, I was handcuffed and taken to the police station, and I asked them if I was being arrested and they said no, I was being taken in for questioning. That was when I gave them my clothing and had my hands tested. I never even got fingerprinted until my arraignment.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
A complaint and summons is a charge.
Do you have a lawyer?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have a public defender.
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 2 years ago.
You should be okay then if all they have is a video of you leaving.