You don’t have to try to take on an arson accusation on your own in Santa Clarita. You can secure professional help if you are accused of reckless burning or malicious arson from the Simmrin Law Group. We can offer you personalized help building a strong defense today.
Take charge of your future after you are accused of arson by calling us at (310) 997-4688. Allow our arson defense lawyers in Santa Clarita to focus on getting your charges reduced or dismissed and on defending you in court.
A Basic Definition of Arson in California
Before we discuss arson charges in Santa Clarita, let’s focus on a brief definition of arson. Legally, an individual may be charged with arson anytime they intentionally set fire to:
- Forested land
- Any structures
- Motor vehicles
- Personal property
Note that, in the state of California, you cannot usually be charged with arson if you set fire to your own property. Generally, individuals must burn someone else’s property intentionally to face this criminal charge.
Understanding Reckless Burning in Santa Clarita
California uses two main charges to prosecute acts of arson: reckless burning and malicious arson. Generally, reckless burning is considered to be the less severe charge, so we will discuss it first. Reckless arson occurs if someone starts a fire:
- Because they have a mental illness
- Because they thought it would be amusing or thrilling
You can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony if you are accused of reckless burning in Santa Clarita. A conviction for a misdemeanor can result in fines of up to $1,000 and jail time of up to six months. We will discuss the penalties for a felony in the section on malicious arson, as the charges carry the same repercussions.
Understanding Malicious Arson in Santa Clarita
Malicious arson will always be prosecuted as a felony in the state of California. Individuals may be accused of malicious arson if they start a fire intentionally in order to:
- Hurt someone else
- Destroy someone’s property
- Defraud an insurance company
The penalties for a malicious arson conviction and the penalties for a felony reckless burning accusation can include:
- Fines of up to $50,000
- Prison time of up to nine years
Make sure you’re ready to get professional help handling an arson accusation by contacting a criminal defense lawyer in Santa Clarita today. Just call (310) 997-4688 and you can begin working on a strong defense for the charges you are facing.
Enhancements for Malicious Arson Charges in California
Thus far, we have only discussed the basic penalties associated with arson convictions in Santa Clarita. In some cases, you may have additional time added to your prison sentence. Often, the court system will add time if you are convicted of starting a fire that:
- Affected more than one building
- Hurt an emergency worker
- Hurt three or more other people
- Involved the use of an accelerant
Additionally, individuals with prior convictions for arson may face sentencing enhancements in the state of California. Find out more about the specific penalties you may face by contacting a property crimes lawyer in Santa Clarita.
Build a Defense for Santa Clarita Arson Charges
The professionals at the Simmrin Law Group can help you handle arson charges in Santa Clarita. We believe in offering personal support to clients in your situation. Allow us to investigate your case and work on developing a defense for you right now.
Based on your situation, we may be able to demonstrate that:
- The fire was completely accidental and you did not intend to set it
- You were falsely accused of arson when someone else started the fire
We may even be able to dispute the evidence put forth by the prosecution. Much of the science used to prosecute arson cases may contain errors that can be used to disrupt the prosecution’s case. If much of the evidence you are facing is circumstantial, we may be able to get your charges reduced to an acceptable level or even dismissed. Take charge by reaching out to us right now.
Get Help from a Santa Clarita Arson Defense Lawyer
A Santa Clarita arson defense lawyer can help you if you are accused of malicious arson or reckless burning. The Simmrin Law Group can provide you with the legal advice you need after you are arrested for arson. Allow us to review your legal options right now with a FREE initial case evaluation.
Begin working to build a comprehensive defense to arson charges by calling (310) 997-4688 or completing our online contact form.