If someone is arrested for suspicion of arson, he or she can be prosecuted under one of two penal codes. These include:
California Penal Code 451 – where the offender deliberately set fire to a property. The consequences for this unlawful act includes a maximum of nine years imprisonment, in addition to up to fifty thousand dollars in fines. In addition, offenders will be required to register as a California arsonist.
California Penal Code 452 – where the offender carelessly set fire to a property. The consequences include either misdemeanor of felony charges. Misdemeanor reckless arson in Costa Mesa is penalized by up to one year in jail and up to one thousand in fines. Felony reckless arson in Costa Mesa is penalized by up to nine years in prison and up to fifty thousand in fines.
As seen in the descriptions above, reckless arson carries the same penalties as malicious arson, if it’s categorized as a felony offense.
The following could be considered an arson violation in Costa Mesa:
Rob, an employee at a Costa Mesa grocery store, has recently been fired for failing to show up to work on time. Rob is upset: he was counting on this job to help him pay his rent and now he has no way to take care of his family. That night, Rob begins drinking heavily and creates a plan to get back at his former employers. He shows up to the back entrance in the middle of the night, pours gasoline over wood piled in the back, sets it on fire, and drives away. The fire burns out in 15 minutes causing minor damage to the outside of the building. Security tapes show Rob setting the fire, and he is arrested the following day for committing arons.
Our arson defense lawyers can help you with your case and walk you through the process. There are numerous factors that the court will hold into consideration before determining the final sentencing. These include:
- The Property – was it a residential property or a commercial building where no one was present?
- Motives – Was the arson deliberated based on revenge?
- Severity of Victim’s Injuries – the injuries sustained by the victims of arson largely influence the outcome of arson cases. If there were more than one victim, sentences will most likely be enhanced.
In addition to these penalties, arsonists are usually assigned a psychiatric evaluation by an approved specialist in Costa Mesa.
If you are facing Arson charges in Costa Mesa, the Costa Mesa criminal defense attorneys at MacGregor & Collins can help you. We will provide you with a free arson case evaluation and help you to determine what options you have available. Call 949-250-6097 or fill out our contact form today.