Playing with firecrackers can get you burned in California. After a juvenile court commissioner found that two teens didn’t intend to set a forest fire, he sent them home on probation. Apparently the Los Angeles County District Attorney was not happy with the result and appealed the conviction or the sentence. The California Supreme Court found that willful and malicious conduct in throwing a cherry bomb on a brush covered hill is sufficient for a finding of arson.
This is very significant in the California criminal justice scheme. Arson is not only a strike offense for purposes of California’s Three Strikes Law, but it also requires registration with the local law enforcement agency. Much like sex offender registration, arson registration requires the same affirmative communication by the offender, with law enforcement. Any law enforcement agencies have access to the registry of arson offenders. The next time a fire starts in the offender’s neighborhood, they are on the short list of suspects. And, just like with sex offender registration, what would you do if you found out your neighbor intentionally starts fires?
If you or someone you care about is suspected of, arrested for or charged with arson, talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. For questions about this or any other criminal defense issue: