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Outbreak Of Los Angeles Arson Fires Leads To Questions About Your Rights

A situation involving arson in Los Angeles was the headline in many national newspapers in January 2012, as it appeared someone was setting fire to automobiles, homes and apartments. The fires occurred from Westside to Hollywood. Even the San Fernando Valley was hit. Detectives from the major crimes and robbery-homicide divisions were brought in to help identify who was involved in the arson fires.

In California, arson is a serious crime that comes with severe penalties. California Penal Code section 451 addresses this criminal offense and describes someone who is guilty of arson as a person who "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."

What Happens If You Are Found Guilty?

The punishment for arson depends on the details of the incident. For example, the law imposes the following penalties:

  • Arson that causes someone to be injured could result in imprisonment for five, seven or nine years.
  • Arson that involves an inhabited structure or property may lead to jail time of three, five, or eight years.
  • Arson that involves a structure or forest land is punished by imprisonment for two, four or six years.

There are additional punishments for arson, which again are based on the details of the alleged criminal offense. To learn more, speak with a knowledgeable Los Angeles arson lawyer.

Get Legal Advice About Your Situation

Contact Ernenwein & Johnson, LLP, today at 424-552-3901 for a free case review.