Arson is the malicious burning of a dwelling, or other structure, of another. Any arson is a felony, punishable by a term in state prison. The term of imprisonment depends on whether the dwelling was occupied and whether injury resulted, but can carry a sentence of up to nine years. Moreover, any conviction requires mandatory registration with the State as an arson offender. Finally, if a fatality is involved, the accused can be charged with "special circumstance" murder, and may be subject to capitol punishment.
Arson cases often turn on witness and expert testimony. Due to the nature of arson, experts must often provide extensive scientific and forensic testimony to establish or disprove the case. The prosecution has a difficult burden and must prove not just that the alleged crime took place, but also that the defendant acted with malice. Your attorney must be able to effectively cross examine witnesses and work closely with your own experts to create the strongest defense.
If you, a family member or friend has been charged with arson, early representation is the key to a successful defense. At the Law Offices of Benjamin Zicherman, I have the experience, resources and sophistication to defend your rights. Contact me immediately for your free consultation.