Arson Defense Attorneys
In Southern California, arson is taken very seriously by law enforcement and prosecutors. Intensive investigations and severe sentences are a matter of course for arson cases. If you are being investigated for arson, you need an experienced arson defense lawyer who knows how to build a defense team of investigators and experts to clear your name.
What is Arson?
Penal Code § 450 defines Arson as the willful and malicious setting of a fire or the aiding or encouragement of setting a fire that burns any structure, forest, land or property.
To Be Found Guilty of Arson, the Prosecution Must Prove Beyond a Reasonable Doubt the Following:
1. A person set a fire that burned a forest, structure, land or property.
2. That the fire was set in a willful and malicious manner.
3. That a person who encourages, assists or counsels another to set a fire is equally culpable of committing the act of Arson.
Special Aggravating Factors that may Increase Punishment for Arson.
1. Arson that results in great bodily injury is a felony punishable by up to 9 years in state prison.
2. Arson that causes an inhabited dwelling or property to burn is a felony punishable by up to 8 years in state prison.
3. Arson of forest land or any structure is a felony punishable by up to 6 years in state prison.
4. Arson of any property is a felony punishable by up to 3 years in State Prison.
Sentencing Enhancements for Arson
In addition to the basic punishment for arson, a person convicted of arson can be punished for an additional 5 years in state prison under the following circumstances:
1. Arson by someone previously convicted of Arson is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.
2. Arson that results in great bodily injury to a police officer, firefighter or other emergency personnel responding to the fire is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in state prison.
3. Arson that results in great bodily injury to more than one person is punished by an additional 5 years in state prison.
4. Arson that proximately results in the burning of more than one structure is punishable by an additional 5 years in state prison.
5. Arson that involved the use of a device designed to accelerate or delay the ignition of a fire is punishable by an additional 5 years in state prison.
In addition to the basic punishment for Arson, the following circumstances may lead to a finding that the person committed “Aggravated Arson”.
1. The arsonist maliciously, deliberately, with premeditation and with intent to cause others to suffer great bodily injury or to cause burning of multiple structures or inhabited dwellings, or one who encourages or counsels the arsonist to do these things.
2. The arson produced property damage in excess of $6,500,000. 3. The arson produced damage to 5 or more inhabited dwellings.
Punishment for Aggravated Arson: 10 years to life in state prison.
Defense To Arson Charges
False Accusation of Arson
The Arson Expert Investigator The cornerstone to every Arson defense is an immediately, well planned and supremely executed professional investigation conducted by a professional investigator who has specialized credentials in investigating arson offenses. In this kind of investigation, your investigator is also a specialized expert.
At My Criminal Defense, our veteran criminal defense attorneys assemble a team of experts to investigate an Arson case.
A. Special Arson Investigator: Because Arson is a very complicated crime often involving the special expertise of experienced and certified fire investigators, criminal defense attorneys at My Criminal Defense only employ the services of fire investigators with the following specialized credentials:
1. Certified to be a fire investigator.
2. Certified to be an explosion investigator.
3. Certified in hazardous materials in arson cases.
4. Certified in vehicular fire investigations.
5. Certified OSHA environmental investigations.
6. Certified in Electrical fire investigations.
7. Certified in Property Loss Assessments in Arson Cases.
My Criminal Defense employs, whenever appropriate and necessary, arson investigators with certified credentials in all of these areas of arson investigations. These investigators may be supplemented by other professional investigators who will be needed to interview eyewitnesses to the arson and to obtain sworn statements from these eyewitnesses. My Criminal Defense investigators have been instrumental in finding problems with arson investigations conducted by law enforcement and firefighting investigators who may not have had the time to thoroughly evaluate the special needs of an Arson investigation. The findings of these gifted experts have led to the rejection and dismissal of arson charges against our clients who have been falsely accused as arsonists.
At My Criminal Defense, experienced criminal defense attorneys assemble teams of experienced professional arson investigation experts with specialized credentials to obtain evidence that will persuade the prosecutor that there is a reasonable doubt about the accused person’s guilt. A prosecutor has a sworn duty not to file criminal charges if he or she believes that a reasonable doubt exists as to the accused person’s guilt of the charge. My Criminal Defense teams work tirelessly around the clock to obtain evidence of reasonable doubt. That is why My Criminal Defense attorneys are so successful at convincing prosecutors to reject criminal charges against our clients.
Please do not delay in contacting My Criminal Defense attorneys today. Call us today to arrange a free confidential consultation with an experienced veteran criminal defense attorney!