At first, arson was a crime that prohibited burning someone else´s dwelling, house or property. But today, current arson laws have extended the definition and now covers any property. The property doesn´t need to be a house, structure, building or a place with people inside. You can commit arson when you burn either personal property, land or buildings. If you have been accused of arson charges in Culver City CA, feel free to visit this website to know more about the penalties you are facing and the possible solutions to solve your situation.
These are some of the elements to consider when someone is charged with arson
You will only commit arson when you intentionally try to burn someone else´s property without their permission. It means that you can not commit arson if you accidentally set something on fire.
If you damage any property as a result of acting recklessly, it will also be considered as arson. Acting recklessly means that you know that what you are doing is dangerous and may lead to fire or property damage.
Direct or indirect
It is not necessary to directly set fire to the property to be convicted of arson; you can be found guilty of arson if you take actions that indirectly lead property to get burn.
Fire or explosion
In many states, explosions are included in arson laws. It means that if you use an explosive force to cause damage, you will also be convicted of arson.
The prosecution must show that your actions are destroying someone else´s property to be charged with arson.
Damage to your property
Most of the arson cases involve property that belongs to other people. However, you can also be accused of arson if you set fire to your property. To be sentenced for arson by burning your property you need to set the fire for fraudulent purposes or the fire must damage someone else´s property. For example, burning dow your house or business to collect your insurance policy is considered as arson.
Penalties for arson
- Prison: Arson offenses can lead to lengthy prison sentences, especially when there is a significant damage or someone´s life was threatened. An arson conviction with the intent to harm or kill somebody can bring a life sentence. Convictions for felony arson can carry sentences of anywhere from one to 20 years in jail. Misdemeanor arson convictions are of one year in a county jail.
- Fines: Anyone charged with arson faces fines in addition to jail or prison time. Fines for arson crimes can range from a few thousand dollars to $50,000 or more.
- Restitution: Arson convictions usually come with a refund order in addition to a prison sentence or fine. Restitution is an amount of money that the accused must pay to the property owner to compensate the damage caused by the arson.
Being charged with arson is a dangerous situation, you can face several years in prison and substantial fines. You will need to talk with a criminal defense attorney and an experienced bail bond agent for professional assessment. This video will help you understand better the meaning of arson.