The legal system in California can harshly punish individuals who are accused of arson in Long Beach. The tremendous damage caused by wildfires makes arson a serious criminal act, punishable by years of incarceration and high fines.
Individuals who try to beat arson charges on their own often end up overwhelmed by highly trained prosecutors. You can take charge of your future by contacting the Simmrin Law Group today. Our arson defense lawyers in Long Beach can go over your case and help you understand your legal options.
Arson: The Legal Definition in Long Beach
Any individual who intentionally sets a fire in Long Beach can be charged with arson. The court actually uses two different charges to prosecute acts of arson:
California Penal Code 452: Reckless Burning
Individuals who set a fire for the thrill of it can be charged with reckless burning. You might also be charged with reckless burning if the arson was prompted by a mental illness. Reckless burning charges also apply to fires set:
- Without Malice
- Without the Intention to Harm or Defraud Someone
You can face misdemeanor or felony charges for reckless burning. Reckless burning is considered the less severe arson charge in Long Beach. However, the penalties for a conviction can still be extremely harsh.
California Penal Code 451: Malicious Arson
Malicious arson is always charged as a felony in the state of California. You can be charged with malicious arson for setting fire to:
- Forested Land
- Physical Structures
- A Person’s Property
- Motor Vehicles
Merely setting a fire is not enough for the court to charge you with malicious arson. The court considers intent when handing down this charge. Individuals convicted of malicious arson must be acting to:
- Kill or Hurt Someone
- Defraud Someone
Acting out of spite, anger, or jealousy can also lead to malicious arson charges. Make sure you take a malicious arson charge seriously by contacting a legal professional today.
Arson: Penalties for a Conviction in Long Beach
There are a number of penalties that are commonly used if an individual is convicted of arson. You could be subjected to:
- Misdemeanor Arson: Up to 6 Months
- Felony Arson: Up to 9 Years
- Misdemeanor Arson: Up to $1,000
- Felony Arson: Up to $50,000
Note that felony penalties for arson can apply if you are charged with reckless burning or malicious arson. The court can also enhance the penalties for malicious arson. This means that you could be sentenced to an additional 5 years in prison if:
- You Burned Multiple Structures
- You Used an Accelerant
- You Previously Committed Arson
- You Injured More than Two People
- You Injured an Emergency Worker
You do not have to take on incredibly severe arson charges on your own. Work with a Long Beach criminal defense lawyer to boost your odds for beating an arson charge. You will have the best chances for protecting your future if you get legal help immediately.
Arson: Legal Defenses in Long Beach
Arson is considered a property crime in Long Beach. Working with a lawyer who understands the legal codes surrounding property crimes can raise your chances for winning your case. Your lawyer may be able to argue:
You Did Not Light the Fire
Sometimes, individuals are wrongfully accused of arson. Your lawyer can go over the facts of your case and any alibi that you may be able to provide to show that you did not start any fires.
The Fire was Accidental
You should not be charged with arson if you accidentally started a fire. An arson defense lawyer can go over the evidence against you to look for flaws in any proof that is presented.
Your arson defense lawyer could also argue that forensic tests for arson can be full of errors. Make sure that you get the professional help you need to ensure you have the best chance for beating an arson accusation.
An Arson Defense Lawyer in Long Beach Can Fight for You
A conviction for arson can cost you years of your life. You do not have to try to beat a reckless burning or malicious arson charge alone. The Simmrin Law Group can go over the facts surrounding your case. Let our team of professional arson defense lawyers in Long Beach start working on your defense immediately. Fill out our online contact form or call (310) 997-4688 to get the help you need before it’s too late.
Our team even offers a FREE case evaluation to individuals in Long Beach who are accused of arson.