If you have been accused of the crime of arson, there are probably many questions going through your mind. What are the penalties? How serious is it? How can you fight the charges? A Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from our team could review your case and legal options and seek to get you justice.
According to California's penal code section 451, arson is defined as someone who "willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids, counsels, or procures the burning of, any structure, forest land, or property." The penal code further defines maliciously as the desire to vex, defraud, annoy, or injure another person. It also includes recklessness in that the person is aware of the risk to the property and safety of others but they choose to disregard it.
The penalties for arson differ depending on the aggravating factors involved. If a person was seriously injured because of the fire, it will be a felony punishable by up to nine years in state prison. If the fire was started in an inhabited building, the penalties could be up to eight years imprisonment.
To learn more about arson and how you could get your charges dropped, contact a Los Angeles criminal defense attorney from our legal team.