What is the Crime of Arson?
Arson is the burning down of something when you don’t have the right or permission to do so.
California Penal Code § 451 defines arson as willfully and maliciously setting fire to any structure, forest land, or property. Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.Someone acts maliciously when he or she intentionally does a wrongful act or when he or she acts with the unlawful intent to defraud, annoy, or injure someone else.
If someone dies when you commit an arson you could be charged with death penalty murder. Otherwise, a simple conviction of arson is a felony punishable by up to 9 years in jail or state prison.