Posted in Criminal Defense on August 12, 2019
Arson laws for the state of California are covered under Penal Code 451 and 452. California law covers various arson-related crimes.
When discussing the differences between Penal Code 451 and Penal Code 452, the defendant’s state of mind at the time the crime committed will be examined.
For arson laws to apply, the following facts (or elements) of the case must apply:
Prosecution must prove both of these facts in order for the arson law to apply. Under this law, a person could be found to act willfully if you commit the act on purpose. A person acts maliciously if they commit a wrongful act with the intent to defraud, annoy, or injure someone else.
Penalties for committing malicious arson are always felony offenses. The potential punishments include:
All forms of malicious arson can carry a fine of up to $10,000.
For this law to apply, the following fact (or elements) of the case must apply:
Here, recklessly is defined as:
“Reckless” in this circumstance is a high standard to be met and is not the same as negligent or careless.
Penalties for reckless burning vary depending on the circumstances of the crime. Basic reckless burning is considered a misdemeanor with penalties of up to 6 months in county jail and fines of up to $1,000.
Reckless burning can also be a “wobbler,” a crime that could be a misdemeanor or felony, if the property burned is a structure fire, forest land, or if it causes great bodily harm. In this case, there are various penalties:
A person could also face enhanced penalties for aggravated arson cases if:
Enhances penalties could also apply if a fire was set in retaliation to a person who owned the property or if a fire was set knowingly to a place of worship. If you were accused of arson, don’t hesitate to call an experienced Riverside Criminal Defense Attorney.