Arson

arsonLos Angeles Arson Crimes Defense Lawyer

In California, arson is considered a very serious felony crime. The Los Angeles criminal defense firm of Michael Kraut and the Kraut Law Group has unique experience litigating arson crimes. Mr. Kraut has been consulted to review arson crimes in Southern California including San Bernardino, Riverside and Orange County.

All forms of arson are considered "strikes" and, therefore, will be used to enhance future sentences of anyone convicted of the crime. Arson is defined as the willful and malicious burning or charring of property. There are many types of arson crimes, including setting fire to one's property with fraudulent intent--such as to collect insurance money. Depending upon the type of arson committed, the punishment can vary significantly.

Arson is investigated by elite and special units within law enforcement. They use the most advanced chemical analyses to locate the point of origin of a fire. Because of the significant loss of life and property that occurs as a result of arson crimes, law enforcement will sometimes take months or years to fully investigate before a case is charged. Law enforcement looks at the motivation behind this crime when conducting the investigation. In some cases, arson is committed as an act of retaliation for cooperation with the police, in domestic violence issues, to hide another crime including murder and for financial gain. In many instances, people will engage in arson to commit insurance fraud and get quick money. For those reasons, the resources that law enforcement put into fighting and prosecuting of arson crimes is enormous.

If you, or a loved one, is being investigated for an arson crime, or has already been charged with an arson crime, then you need to hire an experienced arson trial attorney who knows how to defend you from this charge.

Below is a partial list of arson crimes and their punishments:

  1. Penal Code Section 451(a) - Arson causing great bodily injury. This crime is a felony and is punishable with a prison sentence of up to 9 years. The prosecution must prove that you willfully and maliciously set fire and burned a structure, which caused great bodily injury to a person.
  2. Penal Code Section 451(b) - Arson of an inhabited structure. This crime is a felony and is punishable with a prison sentence of up to 8 years. The prosecution must prove that you willfully and maliciously set fire and burned an inhabited structure.
  3. Penal Code Sections 451(c) - Arson of a structure or forest. This crime is a felony and is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 6 years. The prosecution must prove that you willfully and maliciously set fire and burned a non-inhabited structure or a forest.
  4. Penal Code Section 451(d) - Arson of your own property or the property of another person. This crime is a felony and is punishable by a prison sentence of up to 3 years. The prosecution must prove that you willfully and maliciously set fire and burned the property belonging to yourself or another person.

Jury Instruction on Arson

A defendant is guilty of the crime of arson if the People can prove that:

  1. The defendant set fire to or burned a structure or forest land or property; AND
  2. (He/She) acted willfully and maliciously. To set fire to or burn means to damage or destroy with fire either all or part of something, no matter how small the part.
    • A person commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.
    • A person acts maliciously when they intentionally does a wrongful act or when they act with the unlawful intent to defraud, annoy or injure someone else.
    • A structure is any building/bridge/tunnel/power plant/commercial or public tent).
    • Forest land means brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, grasslands or woods.
    • Property means personal property or land other than forest land.
    • If a person burns his own personal property and does so for any reason other then to defraud another person or a company, and no one else is injured, is not guilty of an arson.

If you have been accused of an arson crime in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, or Orange County, it is important that you seek the services of a criminal defense attorney with extensive experience with arson cases. If you have been arrested for arson in the Los Angeles or Southern California area, call Michael Kraut. Mr. Kraut understands the serious nature of this offense, how best to defend you, and how to resolve your case without you going to jail. Mr. Kraut has extensive knowledge of the law and the legal system. He has developed excellent relationships with law enforcement and law officials throughout the Los Angeles and Southern California.

For more information about the various defenses for your arson case, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan Thomas
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I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
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Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
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Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel Lepervanche
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Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.