Under California’s arson laws, Penal Code § 451 and 452, it is a crime if an individual willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids, counsels, or procures the burning of any structure (building), forest land, or property.
Reckless burning, under § 452 of the Penal Code, is when an individual is guilty of unlawfully causing a fire when he recklessly sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned any structure, forest land, or property.
In California, if you set fire to your own property you can also be charged with arson. Any time fire is intentionally set to a property is considered arson.
If convicted of arson, penalties can include: 2 to 6 years in state prison for arson of a structure that is uninhabited, or forest land; 3 to 8 years in prison for setting fire to an inhabited dwelling; 5 to 9 years for arson that causes substantial bodily injury or harm.
The punishment for arson charges can vary and increase depending on the type and total of property burned, any injuries sustained, whether the fire was willfully or recklessly set, or if you have previous arson violations.
When someone sets fire to their own property, it may be for the purpose of insurance fraud, domestic violence, retaliation for unpaid debts, or by complete accident. No matter what the reason, contact Bay Area Criminal Lawyers, PC, to represent you. Our experience and skillset will provide you with dedicated attorneys defending your rights and freedom through every stage of the criminal process.