California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)

1502. Arson: Inhabited Structure

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1502.Arson: Inhabited Structure or Property (Pen. Code,
§ 451(b))
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with arson that burned an
inhabited structure or inhabited property [in violation of Penal Code
section 451(b)].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
prove that:
1. The defendant set fire to or burned [or (counseled[,]/ [or]
helped[,]/ [or] caused) the burning of] (a structure/ [or]
property);
2. (He/She) acted willfully and maliciously;
AND
3. The fire burned an inhabited structure or inhabited property.
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
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.
Astructure is any (building/bridge/tunnel/power plant/commercial or
public tent.)
A structure or property is inhabited if someone lives there and either is
present or has left but intends to return. An inhabited structure or
property does not include the land on which it is located.
[Property means personal property or land other than forest land.]
New January 2006; Revised February 2013, August 2016, March 2017
BENCH NOTES
Instructional Duty
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction defining the elements of the
crime.
Related Instructions
If attempted arson is charged, do not instruct generally on attempts but give
CALCRIM No. 1520, Attempted Arson. (Pen. Code, § 455.)
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0008
AUTHORITY
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 451(b).
• Inhabited Defined. Pen. Code, § 450; People v. Jones (1988) 199 Cal.App.3d
543 [245 Cal.Rptr. 85].
• Inhabitant Must Be Alive at Time of Arson. People v. Vang (2016) 204
Cal.Rptr.3d 455, 1 Cal.App.5th 377, 382–387].
• Structure 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].
Secondary Sources
2 Witkin & Epstein, California Criminal Law (4th ed. 2012) Crimes Against
Property, §§ 268–276.
5 Millman, Sevilla & Tarlow, California Criminal Defense Practice, Ch. 91,
Sentencing, § 91.47[1] (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].
RELATED ISSUES
Inhabited Apartment
Defendant’s conviction for arson of an inhabited structure was proper where he set
fire to his estranged wife’s apartment several days after she had vacated it.
Although his wife’s apartment was not occupied, it was in a large apartment
building where many people lived; it was, therefore, occupied for purposes of the
arson statute. (People v. Green (1983) 146 Cal.App.3d 369, 378–379 [194 Cal.Rptr.
128].)
1503–1514. Reserved for Future Use
ARSON CALCRIM No. 1502
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