Arson in New Hampshire

You are guilty of Criminal Arson in New Hampshire if you knowingly start a fire or cause an explosion which unlawfully damages the property of another. Thus, the State must prove that you acted knowingly. Arson can be charged as either a Felony or a Misdemeanor.

Felony Arson

Arson may be charged as a felony or misdemeanor depending upon the circumstances of the case. Arson is a felony when:

  • The property damaged is an occupied or historic structure;
  • The property damaged is real estate;
  • The property is yours and the fire was stared for the purpose of collecting insurance on the property;
  • You purposely start a fire on anyone’s property and thereby recklessly place another in danger of death or serious bodily injury
  • The loss caused is in excess of $1,000.


Arson cases are complex – the perfect marriage of law and science. Time is of the essence in Arson cases. Potentially exculpatory evidence disappears, gets trampled on, contaminated or hauled away from the scene.

One of the very first steps in an Arson case is to obtain a qualified arson expert to view the scene, preserve evidence, collect second samples for independent laboratory testing and otherwise consult with Attorneys Shepherd and Osborne to provide you the best possible defense.

Important questions for the investigator include: What is the cause and origin of the fire? Were accelerants detected? Were accidental causes properly ruled out? Did the State properly collect the evidence they are attempting to use against you? Does the State’s “expert” have the proper credentials to even conduct an arson investigation?

CALL US! If you’re facing an Arson charge we urge you to call ASAP. It costs you nothing to pick up the phone and talk to us or schedule a time to come in and talk.

Our telephone number is: 603-595-5525

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