California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
1501. Arson: Great Bodily InjuryDownload PDF
1501.Arson: Great Bodily Injury (Pen. Code, § 451)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with arson that caused
great bodily injury [in violation of Penal Code section 451].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant set ﬁre to or burned [or (counseled[,]/ [or]
helped[,]/ [or] caused) the burning of] (a structure/forest land/
2. (He/She) acted willfully and maliciously;
3. The ﬁre caused great bodily injury to another person.
To set ﬁre to or burn means to damage or destroy with ﬁre either all or
part of something, no matter how small the part.
Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on
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.
Great bodily injury means signiﬁcant or substantial physical injury. It is
an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.
[A structure is any (building/bridge/tunnel/power plant/commercial or
[Forest land means brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, grasslands,
[Property means personal property or land other than forest land.]
[A person does not commit arson if the only thing burned is his or her
own personal property, unless he or she acts with the intent to defraud,
or the ﬁre also injures someone else or someone else’s structure, forest
land, or property.]
New January 2006; Revised February 2013
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction deﬁning the elements of the
If attempted arson is charged, do not instruct generally on attempts but give
CALCRIM No. 1520, Attempted Arson. (Pen. Code, § 455.)
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 451.
•Great Bodily Injury. Pen. Code, § 12022.7(f).
• Structure, Forest Land, and Maliciously Deﬁned. Pen. Code, § 450.
• To Burn Deﬁned. People v. Haggerty (1873) 46 Cal. 354, 355; In re Jesse L.
(1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 161, 166–167 [270 Cal.Rptr. 389].
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (3d ed. 2000) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 238–242.
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 91,
Sentencing, § 91.47 (Matthew Bender).
6 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 143,
Crimes Against Property, § 143.11 (Matthew Bender).
LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSES
• Arson. Pen. Code, § 451.
•Attempted Arson. Pen. Code, § 455.
• Unlawfully Causing a Fire. People v. Hooper (1986) 181 Cal.App.3d 1174,
1182 [226 Cal.Rptr. 810], disapproved of in People v. Barton (1995) 12 Cal.4th
186 [47 Cal.Rptr.2d 569, 906 P.2d 531] on its holding that failure to instruct on
this crime as a lesser included offense of arson was invited error because
defense counsel objected to such instruction; People v. Schwartz (1992) 2
Cal.App.4th 1319, 1324 [3 Cal.Rptr.2d 816].
See the Related Issues section under CALCRIM No. 1515, Arson.
ARSON CALCRIM No. 1501