Can I Be Arrested for Setting a Fire on My Property?

Whether it’s a pile of leaves, your ex’s forget-me-nots, or simply a curious science experiment in the works, there are many of reasons why you might be asking about the legalities of setting a fire on your property. As it turns out, it is a very important and responsible inquiry to ask since Indiana does have certain regulations that restrict outdoor burning practices, known as open burning laws.

Continue reading to learn what you need to know about such laws before stepping outside and igniting something into flames.

Criminal Defense Law Firm 317-636-7514
Criminal Defense Law Firm 317-636-7514

Indiana Open Burning Laws

Here in Indiana, the law defines open burning as burning materials in a way that results in the release of smoke and harmful emissions. Because such by-product doesn’t pass through a chimney or vent, it directly pollutes the air, and thus, harms both the environment and our health. For these reasons, the state imposes certain limitations on open burning appositely called open burning laws.

Burning trash and other materials for the purpose of disposal in an open-style fashion is illegal here in Indiana. However, there are certain exemptions that allow opening burning known as exempt burning activities. If your particular burning need falls within the boundaries of these exceptions, opening burning is likely legal. Examples of such exemptions include boy and girl scouting training, recreational fires, ceremonial fires, fire pits, barbecues, and similar things that involve lighting an outdoor fire.

Keep in mind, there are still certain terms and conditions for even exempt burning activities, so be sure to always check with the local municipality for the rules on these activities. Furthermore, even if your state or local ordinances permit open burning, you have to adhere to any active fire bans that might be in place at the time. When it comes to operations like fireman training, disaster debris management, land clearing, and prescribed burns, authorities must first require approval from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM). View a comprehensive list of Indiana’s open burn laws and rules.

Getting Arrested for Starting a Fire

If you are reported or caught in the act of breaking any open burn laws in Indiana, you will face hefty fines and potential bans from certain areas. As for being arrested, it is very unlikely that you will go to jail for burning something outside on your property unless the activity directly results in damage to another person or property. In such a case, you could be arrested and charged with a type of arson, which is a federal-level crime.

Federal crimes are more serious than state crimes, or misdemeanors, and generally come with heftier fines and penalties, including jail time. In fact, a felony crime is one that is punishable by up to one year in a federal prison. See our blog, “How Indiana Classifies Felony Offenses” to learn more about felony criminal charges and penalties.

If you are facing felony charges for arson in Indiana, it is vital that you contact a seasoned criminal defense lawyer to get started in your defense before it’s too late. You have a much higher chance at avoiding the maximum penalties, including jail time, for an Indiana arson conviction if you have the right attorney on your side.

An Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer You Can Trust

Call 317-636-7514 to schedule a consultation with aggressive criminal defense attorney, David E. Lewis regarding your felony crimes. He will stop at nothing to protect your rights and preserve your freedoms after being charged with invasion of privacy in Indianapolis. With decades of hands-on experience, you can trust Attorney David E. Lewis to build you a strong and impactful defense against your criminal charges.

Indianapolis Criminal Defense 317-636-7514
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