• FreeAdvice has a new Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, effective May 25, 2018.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our Terms of Service and use of cookies.

My Brother w/ Schizophrenia charged with Arson

Accident - Bankruptcy - Criminal Law / DUI - Business - Consumer - Employment - Family - Immigration - Real Estate - Tax - Traffic - Wills   Please click a topic or scroll down for more.



What is the name of your state? Virginia

I'm sorry this is long, but I Need to provide the info.
One week ago, my brother(age 21, who just now turned 22 today)
set a piece of furniture on fire in my parents home, (according to the police report)

It turned into a BIG FIRE, damaging the ENTIRE 1st floor of the house, only the basement is okay.
He told the police that he left a cigarette on the couch, went to sleep, and when
he woke up, flames were everywhere. BUt as the week passed, he told the police that
he tried to start a fire.

Later, my dad told the police that they had an argument. The police started to investigate.
My brother has a bad history with the police and my dad and he is SCHIZOPHRENIC.

The police are assuming that a piece of plastic was found. So they assume
that gasoline was used. He is being locked up in jail, without bond.
I do not know the reason for no bond, is it because they think he is suicidal.

I do not know how the police/fire department found plastic.
The living room has NOTHING left in it but soot, and all smoke damage.

I called my brother's defense (court appointed) lawyer, found out that mid November he will
have a evaluation from a psychiatrist and late November there will be a hearing.
On the phone, I asked to meet the lawyer, he said,
"I do not want to meet right now, until after the "evaluation"

Question) Can I do anything if this lawyer refuses to see me now?
Any recommendations on how to find a lawyer for my brother? I don't know if I can afford
one for him.

I'm paying my taxes for this lawyer too, for court appointed lawyer.

He said he's represented my brother before & the evaluation was found that
my brother was incompetent, but it might be different this time because
my brother has not been taking his medication for his mental illness.

1) What occurs at a hearing? Can I someone get the psychiatric evaluation moved
up to the beginning of November?? Can I somehow REQUEST that the hearing date be

2) Any recommendations? My family also did not have full home insurance coverage.
and the insurance have not called them back & insurance may pay nothing because
they may want to say, "he was part of the family & lived there"

It was a tragic accident though. Two incidents (my YOUNG brother and my
family's home)

More importantly, I'm so scared for my brother and the hearing.
Please help. I appreciate it so much and I do not know who to talk to. My mother keeps crying & crying.
I found out the Virginia code is 18.2-77 (arson charge) and 19.2-169.1 (for the mental illness VA code)
but I need to understand them as soon as possible.

Find the Right Lawyer for Your Legal Issue!

Fast, Free, and Confidential