The District Attorney files arson charges against a person if they willfully and maliciously set fire or burn someone else’s property (Penal Code Section 451). This charge is a felony, and punishment varies depending on the particular facts of the case. For example, there are increased punishments for a fire that was started to an inhabited dwelling, or if someone is injured as a result of the fire.
Depending on the facts, the District Attorney could, instead, file charges against a person for “unlawfully causing a fire” if the act was reckless rather than malicious and intentional (Penal Code Section 452). Again, the punishment varies depending on the facts, any injuries, the property burned, etc. This charge can be filed as a misdemeanor or felony.
Contact Errol L. Cook, to discuss your particular case. Errol L. Cook has years of experience handling these types of cases, and will be able to advise you of your rights, options, and how to properly proceed with your case.