Are you facing an arson charge in California? Get in touch with a California arson attorney who will fight for you all the way.
Arson is a serious charge. A fire can cause devastating destruction, resulting not only in the loss of structures and land, but also the loss of lives in more tragic cases.
California is particularly susceptible to forest fires due to its dry climate and droughts, as well as arson committed by individuals over the years. People have lost their homes and lives in these fires, so the state takes arson very seriously.
If you’re convicted of arson, you could spend years behind bars and face other severe consequences. By learning more about the charges you are contending with and how a California arson attorney can help you, you’ll be empowered to take action on your case.
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What Is Arson?
Arson involves illegally setting fire to a structure, forest land, or another type of property, like a car. You could be charged with arson if you willfully and maliciously set fire to or burned a structure, property, or land, or if you assisted someone who was setting the fires.
Proving You Committed Arson
The prosecutor has to prove that you acted willfully and maliciously when the arson occurred. This means that you set fire to a structure, property, or forest land on purpose, and that you did it maliciously to annoy, injure, or defraud another person. They will need to find evidence that ties you to the arson, such as witness statements or footage showing you committing arson.
“From the moment I met Chris, I knew I was in good hands.” – Kevin H.
Penalties for Arson
Committing arson can result in a felony charge in California. The penalties for felony arson are different depending on the circumstances of your case, like the type of property that was burned and whether or not people got injured.
For instance, if you engage in malicious arson with your personal property, you could spend 16 months or two or three years behind bars. If your case involves malicious arson and a structure or land, you could go to prison for two, four, or six years. Cases involving an inhabited property or structure could result in three, five, or eight years behind bars, and arson cases involving great bodily injury could lead to five, seven, or nine years in state prison.
If you have prior arson convictions on your record, the penalties will be more severe. Enhancements could also be added to your sentence if first responders got hurt, there were many serious injuries because of the arson, or a larger than normal amount of damage resulted from the arson. Additionally, if you burned down your property or someone else’s for monetary gain through insurance fraud, then you could face insurance fraud charges, too.
Keep in mind that felony arson charges count as strikes under California’s Three Strikes Law. If you have two or more serious felonies or violent crime convictions on your record, then your prison sentence could be increased if you are convicted of felony arson.
Defending Yourself Against an Arson Charge
When defending yourself against arson charges, you could say that you were not acting maliciously and you did not intend to start a fire. For example, in the past, people have accidentally started fires at gender reveal parties, and they were not acting maliciously. Another defense is that you were the victim of a false accusation, or that the fire came about because of an unrelated malfunction.
Contact California Arson Attorney CBS Law
If you are being charged with child endangerment, then it’s time to reach out to a child endangerment attorney who will defend you and work hard on your behalf. That’s CBS Law.
Contact us for your free 60-minute consultation by calling (213) 800-8005 or getting in touch on our website. CBS Law is here for you 24/7, and we’ll work hard on your case to ensure justice is served. We are looking forward to helping you with your arson charges in California.
Do NOT speak to law enforcement or investigators about your arson charge, as that information can and will be used against you in a court of law.
Christopher J. Bou Saeed Founding Attorney of CBS Law