What is Arson? Criminal Investigation Essay

What is Arson? Criminal Investigation Essay

Length: 931 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

What are the main things to remember in the preliminary investigation of a suspected arson? What is Arson? Arson is defined as the persistent burning of a building or someone’s property in a mischievous way. The fire department is usually the ones who receive the fire call to begin with. Then the fire personnel make out the reports and then send them over to the state fire marshal. Followed by the insurance companies being present in the investigation, and with their work they are parallel to the fire and police workers. A scene of a fire is usually messy and also; complicated and making it hard to find evidence if investigators happen to find it being arson related. Even though fire fighters are the ones who most of the time, find out if it was arson or not, investigators have to understand what makes the scene an arson, or an accidental fire; by knowing which evidence and collaborated information by proving the materials of a criminal act (Hess, Orthman, 2013).
According to McGraw Hill, “One practical way to investigate the cause of the fire is to find the point of creation. After the area of origin has been established, the investigator should check for the level of origin by examining the bottoms of shelves, ledges, moldings, and furniture and all sides of the legs, arms, and framework of reconstructed furniture. The floor and lower areas of the room produce the most clues to the cause for the fire, because they are living areas” (McGraw Hill, 2002).

Where and how did the fire start? There are two components that cause a fire, a heat source, and the material ignited. According to Hess, Orthman, “The point of origin is established in finding the area with the deepest char, alligatoring and usually the greatest destr...

... middle of paper ...

...nd remarks or unusual changes. Also look for evidence of disabled or turned-off alarms or sprinkler systems and doors left open. Finally, look for evidence of motive. Hard evidence in arson would be computer data, even if the computer has been burned; the hard drive may be intact. Also identifying accelerants at a scene is good evidence, using a gas chromatography with a flame ionization detector can identify 95 percent of the cases. Sifting of ashes, use hypodermic or cooking syringes to collect accelerants in cracks or floor boards” (Hess, Orthman, 2013).

Works Cited

Hess/Orthmann, C., & Matison/Hess, K. (2013). Criminal investigation. (Tenth ed., p.g 485-
500). New York: Delmar Cengage Learning
McGraww Hill (2002) McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Retrieved from http://highered.mcgraw-

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Investigation Of An Investigation For A Criminal Case Essay

- When conducting an investigation for a criminal case there are many guidelines you would need to follow. A preliminary investigation is an inquiry or proceeding to determine whether there is sufficient ground to endanger a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed. Preliminary investigation is to be conducted before the filing of a complaint or information for an offense where the penalty said by the law is at least 4 years, 2 months and 1 day without mentioning the fine. When investigating a preliminary case officers should approach crime scene and protect, initiate preliminary survey, attend to injured parties first, evaluate physical evidence, prepare narrative description, de...   [tags: Police, Crime, Criminal law, Crimes]

Better Essays
1116 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Scope and Severity of Arson for Profit

- Arson for profit is a form of insurance fraud that involves deliberately and intentionally setting fires for monetary gain (U.S. Fire Administration, 2009). Also called economic arson, arson for profit occurs when businesses or individuals deliberately set fires in order to dispose of insured property, including buildings, automobiles, boats, and land, and reap financial benefits by filing insurance claims against the property (U.S. Fire Administration, 2009). Arson for profit is a serious crime, resulting in destroyed property, higher insurance premiums, wasted government resources, and even death (Goetz, 1997; U.S....   [tags: Insurance Fraud]

Better Essays
1644 words (4.7 pages)

The Crime Of The Criminal Justice System Essay

- The Criminal Justice System refers to the process by which persons committing criminal offenses are arrested, followed by systematic investigation to determine proof. After which charges are laid, defense is raised, trials conducted and sentencing rendered if found guilty or acquitted if innocent. Criminal offense is an evil act or omission punishable by law; and/or a long record of crime. An offense can be a minor or major violation, example of minor offense is jaywalking and some major offenses are murder, arson, and treason....   [tags: Prison, Crime, Criminal law]

Better Essays
1521 words (4.3 pages)

Criminal And Civil Court Systems Essay

- Criminal and Civil court systems A number of differences exist between the criminal and civil court systems. In the criminal court system, the victim reports the crime to law enforcement who may investigate. If adequate evidence is found during investigation and an arrest is made, a prosecutor files charges against the defendant. The criminal court system considers the crime to be committed against the state rather than against the individual victim. In a criminal case, the prosecutor acts as the attorney for all the people of the state or jurisdiction....   [tags: Criminal law, Murder, Law, Legal burden of proof]

Better Essays
1267 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on Criminal Case Investigations

- Constructing a set of guidelines on managing the preliminary investigation for a criminal case is very important as it gives a baseline for officers to follow to help prevent errors in the investigation. According to Hess and Orthmann (2010), “The initial response is crucial to the success of an investigation. Although it is popularly believed that cases are won or lost in court, more cases actually are lost during the first hour of an investigation … than in court” (p. 14). After containing the incident, officers upon arrive will begin examining the scene by taking photographs, sketches or videos....   [tags: Prelimininary Inverstigations, Guidelines, Crime]

Better Essays
1088 words (3.1 pages)

Why Do A Preliminary Investigation? Essay

- Pre-liminary Investigations do not necessarily yield enough information to prosecute a criminal case. Despite a through preliminary investigation, many cases require a follow up investigation. The investigator must set main points on how to do a preliminary investigation, suggest a plan of action to produce a well follow up investigation, they must know the difference and similarities between two crimes and how to conduct the investigation. In addition, the investigators must consider the most important parts of the criminal investigation, and finally agree or disagree with the balance of freedom of information through media and suspect of the crime....   [tags: Police, Crime, Criminal law, Assault]

Better Essays
1051 words (3 pages)

The Mythology Of Crime And Criminal Justice Essay

- The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice      Crime is defined as: commission of an act or act of omission that violates the law and is punishable by the state. Crimes are considered injurious to society and the community. As defined by law, a crime includes both the act, or actus rea, and the intent to commit the act, or mens rea. Criminal intent involves an intellectual apprehension of factual elements of the act or acts commanded or enjoined by the law. It is usually inferred from the apparently voluntary commission of an overt act....   [tags: Criminal Crime Crimes Essays]

Better Essays
1146 words (3.3 pages)

Criminal Investigations Essay

- Criminal Investigations are ways that crimes are looked at and criminals arrested (In Encyclopædia Britannica, 2011). It is a huge part of getting criminals off the street. Investigation is a crucial aspect for many different crimes such as, but not limited to, theft, robbery, burglary, arson, murder, and assault. Criminal Investigations can take days or up to many years to solve; some cases are never closed. Not only can investigations last for extended periods of time, the lives of those working on such cases can be put in danger....   [tags: Importance, Procedure, DNA]

Better Essays
1093 words (3.1 pages)

Criminal Profiling Is A Tool, Used By Investigators And Law Enforcement Agencies

- Criminal Profiling Criminal profiling is a tool, used by investigators and law enforcement agencies that can aid in the determination of likely suspects as well as aid in the analysis of criminal patterns that will help predict future offenses. The term criminal profiling designates a set of standards that attempt to recognize characteristics of an unidentified offender, through a comprehensive investigation of the crime scene, through the characteristics of the victim, and previous cases of similar nature (Devery, 2010)....   [tags: Crime, Federal Bureau of Investigation]

Better Essays
1258 words (3.6 pages)

Criminal Profiling Techniques Essay

- Derived from the Latin word ‘filum’, ‘to profile’ means ‘to thread’ or ‘to shape’. Profiling broadly means identifying social, emotional, and physical characteristics of an offender based on the data gathered at the crime-scene. This method of criminal identification is based on criminology, psychology, behavioural studies and forensic sciences. Previously used in investigating for serial crimes, criminal profiling techniques are nowadays used by crime-scene investigators to identify possible personal traits, characteristics, social life aspects and occupational background of offenders and thus to narrow down the list of suspects even in less complicated cases like arson, murder, rape, and...   [tags: criminology, investigative analysis]

Better Essays
1134 words (3.2 pages)