Arson Charges

The state of California considers arson a crime against property. It defines as willfully or recklessly burning down another person’s property or structure or forest land. You may also face arson charges for setting your own property on fire. It has to have been done recklessly or with the intent to commit any kind of fraud or inflict injury.

Examples of arson include willfully or recklessly setting fire to:

  • Someone else’s house, car, or boat
  • A building or other personal property that you own in order to collect insurance money.


The penalties for arson charges depend on a number of factors including:

  • Intent
  • If injuries occurred
  • The type of property that was burned

Setting fire to a structure or forest land is a felony punishable in state prison for two, four or six years plus fines. Setting fire to an inhabited structure or inhabited property is a felony punishable in state prison for three, five or eight years plus fines. If the arson results in great bodily injury, you can serve state prison for five, seven, or nine years, plus fines.

The criminal defense attorneys at Hammerschmidt Law Corporation have decades of combined experience defending against arson charges. We zealously defend the freedoms of our clients. Call our arson defense attorneys today at 559.233.5333 to discuss your case.