(iii) Attempted Arson
1520.Attempted Arson (Pen. Code, § 455)
The defendant is charged [in Count ] with the crime of
attempted arson [in violation of Penal Code section 455].
To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must
1. The defendant attempted to set ﬁre to or burn [or counseled,
helped, or caused the attempted burning of] (a structure/forest
2. (He/She) acted willfully and maliciously.
A person attempts to set ﬁre to or burn (a structure/forest land/property)
when he or she places any ﬂammable, explosive, or combustible
material or device in or around it with the intent to set ﬁre to it.
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.
[A structure is any (building/bridge/tunnel/power plant/commercial or
[Forest land is any brush-covered land, cut-over land, forest, grasslands,
[Property means personal property or land other than forest land.]
New January 2006
The court has a sua sponte duty to give an instruction deﬁning the elements of the
crime. Attempted arson is governed by Penal Code section 455, not the general
attempt statute found in section 664. (People v. Alberts (1995) 32 Cal.App.4th
1424, 1427–1428 [37 Cal.Rptr.2d 401] [defendant was convicted under §§ 451 and
664; the higher sentence was reversed because § 455 governs attempted arson].)
• Elements. Pen. Code, § 455.