California’s court system treats arson as one of the most serious crimes imaginable, which can put a lot of pressure on a defendant accused of arson. A charge of arson comes with heavy penalties, civil punishments, and a strict bail schedule. Beating these charges from a jail cell can be next to impossible, which is why it is your best interests to get out as soon as possible.
If you or someone you love has been charged with arson, reach out to the knowledgeable agents at Balboa Bail Bonds. Each of our team members has at least five years of experience helping clients post bail and meet their court requirements. Working with us does not simply mean that your bail will be paid, but that you will receive constant support throughout your case. To secure a bail bond for arson, call our offices at (619) 760-2222. Our agents are ready to get you out of jail today.
According to California Penal Code 451, arson is the act of “willingly and maliciously” burning, setting fire, or attempting to set fire to property, a forest, or a building. This charge is different from reckless burning, or Penal Code 452, which only applies to when someone “recklessly” causes a fire. The main difference is whether a defendant was attempting to burn something or if it occurred in a reckless accident.
Arson applies to situations where a defendant sets fire to someone’s car, throws a cigarette into a pile of brush, or burns down a building for insurance money. In contrast, reckless burning may apply when someone creates a firepit on their own private property, makes a bonfire on the beach, or fails to put out a campfire. Both of these charges are felonies, but arson results in more serious penalties.
If you are convicted of arson in California, then you face several consequences depending on what property was burned and if someone was injured:
- Someone Else’s Property: If you are convicted of burning someone else’s personal property, then you can be punished with up to 16 months, two years, or three years in prison.
- Personal Property to Commit Fraud: If you burned your own property with the intent of committing fraud, then you can be punished with up to 16 months, two years, or three years in prison.
- Great Bodily Injury: If someone was injured during the fire, then you can be punished with up to five, seven, or nine years in prison.
- Inhabited Structure: If the building that was set on fire was or could have been inhabited, then you can be punished with up to three, five, or eight years in prison.
- Forested Land: If you are convicted of burning forest land, then you can be punished with up to two, four, or six years in prison.
You may also be punished with felony fines of up to $10,000, as well as civil penalties. Arson charges can become “aggravated” if you have a prior conviction of arson within the past 10 years, if at least $5,650,000 of property was damaged, or five or more structures were damaged.
In California, in particular, arson is taken very seriously given our state’s history with wildfires. The district attorney will likely seek the maximum penalties against you. Beating these charges requires a strong legal defense, which you may have a harder time acquiring from jail. Getting released on bail may be your best option to launch a thorough defense.
According to California’s bail procedures, judges have the right to set bail depending on the nature of the crime, your criminal history, and your flight risk. Each county has its own specific bail schedule, but like the penalties for arson, bail for arson can be set based on what property was burned and if someone was injured.
Based on San Diego’s bail schedule, bail for arson is set at:
- Property Only: $50,000
- Great Bodily Injury: $250,000
- Inhabited Structure: $150,000
- Forested Land: $75,000
For Orange County, bail is set at:
- Great Bodily Injury: $100,000
- Inhabited Structure: $250,000
- Forested Land: $50,000
In Riverside County, bail is set at:
- Great Bodily Injury: $60,000
- Inhabited Structure: $55,000
- Forested Land: $35,000
Being arrested on arson charges can completely change your life. Your case may get a lot of media attention, putting your reputation, career, and relationships in jeopardy. Our courts will not be merciful, with prosecutors seeking the harshest penalties possible. During this time, you need to be surrounded by friends, family, and a community that will support you throughout your trial. But to get home, you need to make sure your bail is posted by a responsible and dedicated bail bond agency.
At Balboa Bail Bonds, we do not simply write a check and wait to collect on it. We are committing to helping our clients throughout the entirety of their cases, including posting bail, making sure you get to court, and working with your attorney. We believe in helping our clients during the most trying times in their lives and providing 24/7 support every day of the year. If you contact our bail bond agents, they can use all of their experience, knowledge, and resources to answer your questions.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for arson, contact Balboa Bail Bonds online or call our offices at (619) 760-2222 to get bail posted today. We have agents in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County.