Arson is defined as the willful act of setting fire to any property, including a house, car, furniture, dumpster or a forest. Despite this typical definition, you may be charged with arson even if you did not intentionally start a fire to cause damage. For example, you could be charged with arson if the fire was started to harass or defraud someone. The crime of arson can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances in the case
What are the penalties for arson?
To convict you of arson, the prosecution has to establish that you set the fire on purpose and did so intending to harm, harass, or defraud another person.
- The types of penalties you could face will depend on the following:
- Whether the fire caused "great bodily injury" to another person
- If the fire burns an inhabited structure or property
- If a fire burns forested land
- If the act was done to commit insurance fraud
- If the fire led to any deaths (this could result in additional charges of murder)
- If no fire was actually started, but still attempted
- The amount of loss or damage caused by the fire
Depending on these factors, the penalties could involve years in jail, fines, and restitution. On the other hand, if you unlawfully started a fire without any malicious intent, you may be charged with a misdemeanor offense. An example would be when a field of dried grass caught on fire after your fireworks lands in it. This "reckless burning" offense could still carry up to one year in jail and additional fines.
How Can We Help When You're Facing Arson Charges?
If you have been charged with arson in the Temecula, the Law Office of Nicolai Cocis can offer you experienced legal advice and representation. Nicolai Cocis has been handling criminal defense cases since 1999 and has a perfect 10.0 "Superb" rating from Avvo. Get top quality legal counsel on your side today by calling our law firm. We represent individuals from the Riverside County cities of Temecula, Murrieta, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Wildomar, Hemet, Perris, Banning Corona and Riverside.
Contact The Law Office of Nicolai Cocis in Temecula for a free case evaluation.
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