Fresno Arson Attorney
Criminal Defense Attorneys Serving the Central Valley
In California, individuals who intentionally start fires which lead to injury or the destruction of property can be charged with arson. These crimes are treated with the utmost seriousness and can be punishable by years in prison. If you are being charged with arson, the Fresno criminal defense attorneys at Wapner Jones, PC can help to see that the charges against you are dropped completely or reduced. Our legal team has decades of experience in criminal defense law and our firm has helped to protect the freedoms of clients in your situation.
Why choose our firm? Consider the following qualifications:
- “Superb” Avvo Rating (Attorney Wapner)
- Former prosecutors fighting for your freedom
- More than 65 years of combined legal experience
- National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 Trial Lawyers in CA
Do not wait to begin building your defense. Call (559) 257-4707 and speak to a lawyer today.
What Constitutes Arson?
Not every action involving the creation of a fire can incur charges of arson and several factors must be present for a defendant to incur penalties. Two of the main elements which are considered in an arson case are (1) if any property damage or bodily harm occurred and (2) the reasoning or intent behind the crime. Generally, arson involving malicious intent is charged as a felony and can carry prison sentences of up to 12 years. Penalties will be different for every case and can vary based on factors including the type of property involved, the extent of damages, if serious bodily harm occurred, and the defendant’s past criminal history.
To secure a conviction for arson, the prosecution must prove that the defendant BOTH:
- Started, or helped to start, a fire which caused bodily harm to another individual or burned a building, plot of land, or other property
- Set the fire willfully and maliciously, with intent to commit fraud, property damage, or bodily injury.
In cases where willful and malicious intent cannot be proven, a defendant may still be charged with reckless burning. A lesser offense of arson, reckless burning can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on factors such as the extent of damages and if bodily injury occurred. Here, the prosecution must prove that the defendant started or helped to start a fire while acting recklessly.
What are the Penalties for Arson in California?
Arson penalties may vary per circumstance but may include the following:
- Arson causing great bodily injury is a felony and may result in up to 9 years in prison
- Arson causing damage to inhabited structures or properties is a felony and may result in up to 8 years in prison
- Arson causing damage to structures or forest land is a felony and may result in up to 6 years in prison
- Arson of property is a felony and may result in up to 3 years in prison
- Aggravated arson is a felony and may result in life in prison
- Attempted arson may result in up to 3 years in prison
- Additionally, any arson charge may include fines of up to $50,000
Secure Award-Winning Legal Representation
The severity of penalties associated with arson demands the attention of knowledgeable and experienced attorneys. Our Fresno criminal lawyers are both former prosecutors who know how the charges against you are likely to be structured and can strategically defend against them. At Wapner Jones, PC, we will work tirelessly to see your future remains untarnished by charges of arson. Contact our firm today to find out exactly where you stand in your case.
Get started today by scheduling a free consultation and learn about your possible defenses.