Have you been charged with committing arson in California? California’s two categories of arson offenses, malicious arson and reckless burning, both carry harsh penalties which may include lengthy prison sentences and steep fines, and may even require you to register as an arson offender in some cases. Although reckless burning is generally a less serious offense than malicious arson, neither offense should be taken lightly.

The penalties you may incur if convicted of arson in California vary depending on a number of factors. Willful or malicious arson is a felony charge and could result in fines up to $50,000 and a sentence of up to 3 years in the California state prison. If charged with misdemeanor reckless burning, you could be facing a fine and up to 6 months in county jail. However, if you are charged with felony reckless burning, you could serve up to 6 years in the California state prison. If you are charged with an aggravated arson offense, you may incur additional penalties in addition to those already listed. Individuals who have been convicted of malicious arson, attempted malicious arson, or aggravated arson resulting in 10 or more years in prison must register as convicted arson offenders and must keep local law enforcement updated in regards to their whereabouts. If you or someone you know has been charged with malicious arson, reckless burning, or a related crime it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney who can represent you.

If you live or work in the Los Angeles area and are looking for a criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights and freedom, you have come to the right place. I can put my knowledge and over 25 years of criminal defense experience to work and provide you with the knowledgeable and aggressive council you need. If you hire my firm to represent you in your arson case, I can guarantee that helping to get you the best possible outcome will be my top priority.

California Arson Defense

“Robert really came to my rescue! I found myself under false accusations and he really came through. I was really freaking out, and Robert was able to make me feel like I was in good hands. I can’t recommend his services enough.”Drew, CA

Under California’s arson laws it is illegal to set fire to any building, property, or forest land. Whether the fire is set willfully and maliciously or recklessly determines which of of the two California arson laws you will be charges under:

  1. Arson – Penal Code 451 PC, or
  2. Reckless Burning – Penal Code 452 PC

If you have been charges with committing arson in California, there are a number of defense strategies that may be available to you. I can examine the details of your case to find the best strategy for you and your situation. Below are some possible defenses which may be used to prove your innocence and prevent you from incurring penalties:

  • Fire was started by accident or not caused by arson – Did you start a fire entirely by accident, not willfully maliciously, or recklessly, and not while under the influence of drugs or alcohol?
  • False accusation or mistaken identity – were you wrongfully accused of starting a fire? Did a witness mistakenly identify you as the perpetrator of arson or reckless burning?
  • Insufficient evidence – Is the evidence against you weak or entirely circumstantial?

Let the Criminal Law Office of Robert Helfend Fight for You!

In California, arson and reckless burning are serious crimes that come with serious penalties. If you have been charged with arson or a related offense, it is crucial that you contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can aggressively fight on your behalf. Find out how I can thoroughly investigate the details of your case to help get you the best possible outcome. Don’t hesitate, contact my office today and let me get to work defending you.