California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM) (2017)
1502. Arson: Inhabited StructureDownload PDF
1502.Arson: Inhabited Structure or Property (Pen. Code,
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with arson that burned an
inhabited structure or inhabited property [in violation of Penal Code
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/ [or]
2. (He/She) acted willfully and maliciously;
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
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
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
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(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].
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 (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].
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.
1503–1514. Reserved for Future Use
ARSON CALCRIM No. 1502