SENATE BILL 396
55th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2021
Harold Pope, Jr.
RELATING TO CRIMES; ADDING WILDLAND TO THE CRIMES OF ARSON, NEGLIGENT ARSON AND AGGRAVATED ARSON; ADDING PRIOR ARSON CONVICTIONS AND USE OF FIRE ACCELERATOR DEVICES TO THE CRIME OF AGGRAVATED ARSON; DEFINING "WILDLAND".
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 30-17-5 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1970, Chapter 39, Section 1, as amended) is amended to read:
"30-17-5. ARSON AND NEGLIGENT ARSON.--
A. Arson consists of a person maliciously or willfully starting a fire or causing an explosion with the purpose of destroying or damaging:
(1) a building, occupied structure or property of another person;
(2) a bridge, utility line, fence or sign; [or]
(3) any property, whether the person's own property or the property of another person, to collect insurance for the loss; or
B. Whoever commits arson when the damage is two hundred fifty dollars ($250) or less is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.
C. Whoever commits arson when the damage is over two hundred fifty dollars ($250) but not more than five hundred dollars ($500) is guilty of a misdemeanor.
D. Whoever commits arson when the damage is over five hundred dollars ($500) but not more than two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
E. Whoever commits arson when the damage is over two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) but not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a third degree felony.
F. Whoever commits arson when the damage is over twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) is guilty of a second degree felony.
G. Negligent arson consists of a person recklessly starting a fire or causing an explosion, whether on the person's property or the property of another person, and thereby directly:
(1) causing the death or bodily injury of another person; [or]
(2) damaging or destroying a building or occupied structure of another person; or
(3) damaging or destroying wildland.
H. Whoever commits negligent arson is guilty of a fourth degree felony.
I. As used in this section:
(1) "occupied structure" includes a boat, trailer, car, airplane, structure or place adapted for the transportation or storage of property, for overnight accommodations of persons or for carrying on business therein, whether or not a person is actually present; and
(2) "wildland" means managed or unmanaged forest, land in the wildland-urban interface, riparian areas, pasture or range land, recreation land or any other land at risk of wildfire."
SECTION 2. Section 30-17-6 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1963, Chapter 303, Section 17-6) is amended to read:
"30-17-6. AGGRAVATED ARSON.--Aggravated arson consists of:
A. the [wilful] willful or malicious damaging by any explosive substance or the [wilful] willful or malicious setting fire to any bridge, aircraft, watercraft, vehicle, pipe line, utility line, communication line or structure, railway structure, private or public building, dwelling or other structure or wildland causing a person great bodily harm;
B. arson or negligent arson committed by a person convicted of arson, negligent arson or aggravated arson within the last ten years; or
C. the use of a device designed to accelerate the fire or delay the fire's ignition.
Whoever commits aggravated arson is guilty of a second degree felony."
- 4 -