Arson Defense Lawyer for Ventura
Criminal Defense for Charges of Arson
Arson involves the intentional act of beginning a fire to a structure or an outside area. There are a number of reasons that may lead a person to commit this crime from financial purposes to an enjoyment out of the destruction that ensues. California has a long history of fires and fire damage and the state has responded by having some of the toughest arson laws in the country. Arson is considered a very serious felony. Fire can spread quickly, leaving mass destruction in its wake. The level of damage caused by an intentionally started fire will be a factor in the level of consequences that are faced.
Types of Arson Charges in CA
The penalties for arson vary greatly depending on the specific circumstances.
Some examples of arson crimes and the potential punishment are:
- Arson causing great bodily injury is punishable by a prison sentence of up to nine years. The prosecutors must establish that you willfully and with malice set fire to and burned a structure which caused great bodily harm to a person.
- Arson of an inhabited structure occurs when an offender sets fire to an inhabited structure such as a house or apartment building. This is a serious felony with a potential prison sentence of eight years.
- Arson of a non-inhabited structure or forest occurs when an offender sets fire to an uninhabited building or forest. This felony charge may result in a six year prison sentence.
- Arson of your own property, typically for insurance purposes, is punishable by a three year prison sentence.
Arson cases are generally investigated by specialized law enforcement units that employ scientific methods to establish cases. While many suspects may believe there is no case against them, law enforcement is often able to build a strong case in many situations. We seek to build a stronger case that not only disputes the charges brought against you, but puts them to rest. More serious cases of arson will be handled by the federal government and the penalties of these charges will be increased.