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West Palm Beach Florida Man Will Be Sentenced for Arson Today

arson-palm-beach_180x120-150x120Helmut Goellnitz, 48, faces sentencing today, 4/20/10, in connection with the burning of a North Palm Beach beauty salon last year. Goellnitz confessed to paying someone $1,000 to burn down the Touchee Beauty Salon in North Palm Beach because his girlfriend wasn’t happy with the eyelash extensions she got there. The beauty salon even offered his girlfriend a refund and eventually gave her a “redo.” That wasn’t good enough for Goellnitz. According to records, Goellnitz “wanted to make a statement not to mess with him and he was going to show them.” He told witnesses that he paid someone to “burn the son of a bitch” down.

Helmut Goellnitz pleaded guilty to arson charges last month and faces a minimum of five years in prison at his sentencing today.

Arson Crimes and Penalties in Palm Beach County

Arson is the criminal act of setting property on fire. It can be a building, a home, a car or a beauty salon. It is categorized as a violent crime. In the state of Florida, there are two degrees of arson penalties:

1st Degree Arson

You are charged with this felony if the prosecutor believes that you willfully or – while in the commission of another felony – set a fire or explosion to any of the following: 1) Any dwelling whether or not it is occupied, 2) Any structure where people are normally present or 3) Any other structure that you should have reasonable grounds to believe was occupied. First degree arson is a felony punishable up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

2nd Degree Arson

You are charged with this felony when you willfully or – while in the commission of another felony – cause damage to property by fire or explosion that is not included in 1st degree arson. 2nd degree arson is a felony punishable up to 15 years in prison and fines up to $10,000.

Palm Beach County Arson Defense

Have you been charged with arson? It is critical that you retain the services of a skilled Palm Beach County criminal defense attorney. Arson can be a very difficult case to litigate and it will always be aggressively pursued by the prosecution. Only an experienced Palm Beach arson defense lawyer knows how to extinguish a charge like this.

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