In California, the crime of arson is punished by California Penal Code 451, which 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.

  • Arson that causes great bodily injury is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for five, seven, or nine years.
  • Arson that causes an inhabited structure or inhabited property to burn is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for three, five, or eight years.
  • Arson of a structure or forest land is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years.
  • Arson of property is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, two, or three years. For purposes of this paragraph, arson of property does not include one burning or causing to be burned his or her own personal property unless there is an intent to defraud or there is injury to another person or another person’s structure, forest land, or property.
  • In the case of any person convicted of violating this section while confined in a state prison, prison road camp, prison forestry camp, or other prison camp or prison farm, or while confined in a county jail while serving a term of imprisonment for a felony or misdemeanor conviction, any sentence imposed shall be consecutive to the sentence for which the person was then confined.

With the seriousness of the consequences for any type of arson, it is vital you hire a defense lawyer from The Law Office of Marc S. Kohnen immediately. You risk your freedom and rights if you fail to take swift action to protect yourself against these
violent crime charges without the help of a San Diego arson attorney.

Arson Investigations in San Diego

The crime of arson is punishable by prison, and carries severe immigration consequences. Due to the ease with which fire spreads in our local climate and the potential for wildfires burning out of control, the crime of arson is aggressively prosecuted in San Diego County.

If you have been accused of arson, or are being investigated for the crime, you can expect to be investigated by skilled arson investigators, in addition to detectives and police. Law enforcement will begin gathering evidence immediately when called to investigate a fire, and their preservation of the evidence and crime scene are critical at the early stages.

Often, there is little physical evidence left at the scene of a fire, and the evidence that does remain is subject to interpretation. The quality of your own criminal defense arson investigators and legal team needs to be able to match wits with law enforcement arson investigators. If you or a loved one has been contacted by law enforcement investigating arson, or if you have been arrested and charged with this crime, call our San Diego criminal defense team right away!