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Arson - Criminal Law

Property Crimes - Arson

If you would like to be referred to Arson Lawyer contact Attorney Search Network for a Lawyer Referral.

Felony arson is a crime against property, but can also involve physical danger to the victim, so it is often classified separately from other property crimes. The common legal definition limits arson to dwellings, buildings in which people live. Modern statutes generally extend that coverage to other buildings, such as barns, warehouses, churches, stores, and garages. Some nonbuildings have also been included; such as automobiles, railroad cars and boats. In some jurisdictions arson statutes cover all forms of personal property.

The common legal definition of arson is the malicious and voluntary burning of the dwelling house of another. This can be extended to the possession of another. A dwelling house is a house where people customarily reside, although no person need be phyically in the house at the time of the arson.

Malicious and voluntary means that the arsonist must intentionally, or perhaps recklessly, commit arson. No malice in the literal sense of ill will is required. The structure need not be entirely or even largely destroyed. The descrtuction of a small portion of the structure is sufficient.

Modern statutes have generally altered the definition of arson in two ways. First, they provide that the burning of property other than dwelling houses and second the burning of one's own property to defraud an insurance company also constitute arson.

Arson is almost always charged as a felony, because property damage is almost always significant. The injuries and possible injuries associated with arson are rarely minor. Those found guilty of arson typically received harsh sentences in terms of both incarnation time and probation. If you are charged with arson contact Attorney Search Network for a pre-screened lawyer referral. Attorney Search Network is a Lawyer Referral Service certified by the State Bar of California and approved by the American Bar Association.

If you have any questions about the information provided above, contact Attorney Search Network for a Criminal Defense Lawyer Referral in your local area.