Orange County Arson Lawyers
Arson Cases Also in Riverside, San Bernardino & Los Angeles
Individuals facing criminal arson charges encounter an uphill battle. Over the last decade, California has suffered several fires that have resulted in the loss of life and millions of dollars in property damage. California courts will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law, as politicians and law enforcement officials may try to make an example of you and your alleged crimes.
Hiring an arson defense lawyer in Orange County can be stressful, but failing to hire one can lead to a devastating experience. At The Law Offices of Randy Collins, we're here to help.Whether this is your first run-in with the police, or you have been charged before, a conviction for fire-related offenses can negatively affect many aspects of your life. In California, all forms of arson can become a “strike” on your record and, if convicted, can be used against you in court proceedings to enhance future sentences.
If you’ve been accused, contact the Law Offices of Randy Collins at (844) 285-9559 for a free case evaluation. Getting the right information at the beginning of your criminal proceedings can make a substantial difference.
How Does California Define Arson?
Under Arson Penal Code 451, it’s an offense for someone to deliberately or recklessly set fire to property other than their own.
In California, malicious offenses under California Penal Code 451 are regarded as felonies.
The penalties for this crime depend on:
- The property class
- Whether someone was injured
- The severity of injuries
Intentional offenses are penalized by:
- Prison time between 16 months and 9 years
- Fine of up to $50,000
- Evaluation by a psychiatrist
- Registration as a local offender
California’s Reckless Burning Law
Reckless arson is treated differently under California Penal Code 452. This involves setting fire to a property or place through reckless acts. This isn’t to be confused with negligence. The prosecution aims to prove that a reckless offender reacted to a fire differently from how a reasonable person would think or react in that same situation.
For example, someone at a gas station lights a cigar, knowing full well the impact it might have on the entire property and people surrounding the area.
To determine the penalties under California Penal Code 452, the judge will order the offender to undergo an evaluation with a certified psychologist.