In California, arson is considered a particularly heinous crime, especially during the summer when wildfires grab national headlines every year. Arson is a complicated matter with varying levels of severity in punishments for each case. There are many factors to consider, including the circumstances of the accused and the type of damage caused. It is important to be thorough and know the procedures regarding arson cases.
In California, arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning of a structure, forest, or land. In many arson cases, our law firm can successfully defend the case by being able to show that the accused did not act maliciously or willfully to set the fire. The start of many fires can be disputed and often can be caused by neglectful actions or by pure accident. The accused may lack specific intent to actually start a fire, cause the fire by accident, or be intoxicated. These defenses may be available to you, but you must consult with an attorney to review your case.
A defendant can be charged with either simple arson or aggravated arson. Simple arson will be charged when a defendant willfully and maliciously set fire to or burned a structure, forest, land, or property.