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Arrested and Charged with Arson? The U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System reports an estimated 16,800 intentionally set fires in residential buildings occur annually in the United States. These fires result in an estimated 280 deaths, 775 injuries and $593 million in property loss each year. The penalties for arson are harsh.
If you have been arrested and charged with arson you need to call a Sacramento criminal lawyer today. In 2010, law enforcement officers arrested and charged 11,296 individuals with arson. In the United States, an arson offense is a very serious.
California Penal Code 451 states,
“A person is guilty of arson when he or she willfully and maliciously sets fire to or burns or causes to be burned or who aids, counsels, or procures the burning of, any structure, forest land, or property.”
Maliciously is defined as: imports a wish to vex, defraud, annoy, or injure another person, or an intent to do a wrongful act, established either by proof or presumption of law.
Further, under the modern statute, a defendant can be convicted of arson for burning a structure that he or she owns. However, liability is limited in this situation to cases in which the defendant was or should have been aware that his or her actions created a risk of danger to other people. See Brown. v. State, 403 A.2d 788 (Md. 1979). Another change under the modern statute is that actual burning of any material is not required to sustain a conviction. As long as the defendant started a fire with the intent of damaging or destroying the structure that he is setting fire to, he can be convicted of arson even if no part of the structure is damaged or charred at all.
The penalties for arson are harsh
The defendant is usually charged with a felony, and faces anywhere from six months in jail to twenty to thirty years in prison. If charged with arson, the type of penalties the defendant faces depend on whether he or she is a repeat offender, the severity of the fire, and harm caused to others and their property. Due to the seriousness of an arson offense, we recommend that you do not speak with anyone regarding your case until you speak to an experienced Sacramento criminal lawyer. Discussing the case with anyone else, may lead you to divulge information that may be taken out of context resulting in a stronger case against you.
The skilled Sacramento criminal lawyer at the Law Office of Wing & Parisi can make the difference between your freedom or jail. We possess the skill and knowledge to prepare a thorough defense against your specific charge. Call our office today for a free consultation. We will help you clearly understand your options, and answers any question you have regarding your case.
If you have been charged with a crime of arson, choose a Sacramento criminal lawyer with the experience and dedication to make a difference. Call (916) 441-4888 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation. With our office conveniently located in Sacramento, California, the Law Office of Wing & Parisi stands ready to represent you in your criminal matter.
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If you have been arrested and charged with a crime, contact the Law Office of Wing & Parisi for free consultation.