Arson is a very serious crime that can be punished by extended jail time if you are convicted of the charge in the state of California. Setting fire to any building, forest land, or property without legal right to do so is considered arson, with various charges being applied depending on the specifics of the case. If you are facing an arson charge in California court, call Somera Law Group today. We would be happy to speak with you regarding your case and help to plan out the proper course of action.

There are four general categories of arson on the California books, each with its own set of punishments.

Arson Causing Great Bodily Injury – For this crime, it must be proved that the accused maliciously set fire and burned a structure, which in turn caused great bodily harm to another. This charge is a felony which can be punished with up to 9 years in prison.

Arson of an Inhabited Structure – Also a felony, this crime can receive up to 8 years in prison for a conviction. To be convicted, the prosecution must prove that the fire was set intentionally and that the accused had malicious intent.

Arson of a Structure or Forest – If you are accused of setting fire to a non-inhabited structure or a forest land, you can be charged with this crime. A conviction is a felony and up to 6 years in prison.

Arson of your own Property or the Property of Another – This is the least arson charge, although it is still a felony that can include up to 3 years in prison. If you willingly and maliciously set fire to your own property, or the property of someone else, you could face this charge.

Arson charges must be taken seriously and defended against to the fullest extent. Call our offices today for a free consultation and to find out more about how our knowledge and experience can be to your benefit. We look forward to your call.