Has a friend or loved one been arrested, taken into custody and charged with Arson in California? If you require a bail bond for them, you’ve probably got a lot of questions that you want answers to – we can help. Call and speak directly with a licensed, professional bail bondsman any time 24/7 at 877-422-4591.
California Penal Code 451 PC
Arson falls under Penal Code 451 and can be described as “willfully or maliciously setting fire to a building, land or property.” However, there is also Penal Code 452 PC which makes it unlawful to recklessly set fires to buildings, property or land. The difference between 451 PC and 452 PC is that the prior crime involves a defendant who set fire to something with malicious intent, whereas 452 PC could be an individual who wanted to burn something, an old barn perhaps, but did so in a reckless fashion. An example of California PC 451 would be an individual who, after having a fight with his/her significant other, decided to get some payback by lighting their victim’s car on fire. The fact that the individual who set the fire did so to get revenge would imply the malicious intent. 452 PC, on the other hand, could be taken as someone who burns down their own barn because they didn’t know how else to get rid of it.
In order to be charged with violating PC 451, an prosecutor must prove the following
- The defendant willfully set fire to land, a structure or property
- The defendant did so with malicious intent
California law describes malicious intent as the intention to commit a wrongful act in order to defraud, annoy or injure another person. “Willfully” is also on the books, ant it is defined simply as an act that an individual did on purpose. Whether they knew it was against the law or not is irrelevant. To be charged with violating PC 452, a prosecutor must prove that
- The defendant set fire to a structure, land or property
- The defendant did so “recklessly”
California Law defines “reckless” as being aware that one’s actions represent a substantial risk, the individual ignores that risk and ignoring the risk represents a gross deviation from how a reasonable individual would act. Basically, if someone does something they know is dangerous, disregards that fact and does it anyways, then they are acting “recklessly.”
The penalties for arson vary pretty widely, depending on the circumstances of the case. These circumstances will also dictate whether or not the prosecutor can charge arson as a misdemeanor or a felony. Misdemeanor convictions of violating PC 452, “reckless” burning include
- Informal probation
- Up to 1 year in county jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
Should an individual be convicted of felony violation of PC 452, (perhaps an individual received a serious injury as a result of the “reckless” burning), then the penalties rise significantly to include
- 16 months to 9 years in California State Prison
- A fine of up to $10,000 as well as up to $50,000 in additional fines if it is proven that the fire was started for financial gain
- A possible strike on the defendant’s criminal record as per California’s Three Strikes Law
It should be noted that charges of violating California Penal Code 451 PC are always a felony and include the penalties listed above.
The Bail Bond Process
When you call and speak with one of our professional Bail Bondsmen, we will need a little information right to get things started. This information would include the defendant’s full name, date of birth and the date and time of arrest (if possible). If not all of this information is readily available, we can still help you locate them. Once he or she has been located within the system and their eligibility for bail has been verified, it will be time to fill out a few simple bail bond application forms. Once complete, we will dispatch one of our agents to the jail and your friend or loved one will be released shortly thereafter. We will be happy to meet with you at our office, your home or the jail. If none of these options work for you, the entire bail bond application process can be completed via phone, fax or email. Your comfort and convenience matter a great deal, so what works best for you works best for us.
Bail Bond Cost and Payment Information
We will beat any locally advertised price! SCV bail bonds does not include any additional charges or hidden fees. As for payment options, we accept major credit/debit cards (American Express, Visa, Discover and Master Card) as well as cash, check (business or personal), money order, bank account transfer and money wire. We provide several flexible payment options designed to fit most any budget for those who wish to finance their bail bond. We want to make the payment plan as comfortable for you and your family as possible. If you have any additional questions regarding bail bonds for Arson charges in California, feel free to call and speak with a licensed, professional bail bondsman any time of day or night at 877-422-4591. We’re always here to help.