REPORT TITLE:
Arson


DESCRIPTION:
Separates arson from the offenses of criminal property damage.

 
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THE SENATE                              S.B. NO.           1389
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
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                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT

RELATING TO ARSON.



BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 1      SECTION 1.  Chapter 708, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 
 2 by adding three new sections to be appropriately designated and
 
 3 to read as follows:
 
 4      "708-     Arson in the first degree.  (1)  A person commits
 
 5 the offense of arson in the first degree, if by means of fire or
 
 6 explosion, the person intentionally or knowingly creates or
 
 7 causes physical harm to any:
 
 8      (a)  Property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
 9           property and recklessly causes bodily injury to any
 
10           other person, including, but not limited to, a law
 
11           enforcement officer as defined by section 710-1000, a
 
12           fire official, or any other rescue personnel;
 
13      (b)  Property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
14           property with the intent to defraud;
 
15      (c)  Property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
16           property through the offer or acceptance of an
 
17           agreement for hire or other consideration;
 
18      (d)  Property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
19           property and, as a result, recklessly causes physical
 

 
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 1           harm to any other property, park, preserve, wildlands,
 
 2           or other real property; or
 
 3      (e)  Property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
 4           property that results in damages greater than $20,000.
 
 5      (2)  It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution
 
 6 under this section that the person's sole intent was to destroy
 
 7 or damage the property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
 8 property for a purpose permitted by law and the person had no
 
 9 reasonable grounds to believe that the person's conduct might
 
10 endanger the life or safety of another person or damage other
 
11 property.
 
12      (3)  As a part of the sentence following conviction, the
 
13 court may order the defendant to pay restitution to:
 
14      (a)  Persons having a legal or equitable interest in the
 
15           property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
16           property; and
 
17      (b)  The State or any political subdivision thereof for the
 
18           cost of police, fire, or emergency services used in
 
19           responding to the fire or explosion.
 
20      (4)  Arson in the first degree is a class B felony.
 
21      708-     Arson in the second degree.  (1)  A person commits
 
22 the offense of arson in the second degree, if by means of fire or
 
23 explosion, the person intentionally or knowingly creates or
 

 
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 1 causes:
 
 2      (a)  Physical harm to any property, park, preserve,
 
 3           wildlands, or other real property that results in
 
 4           damages less than $20,000.
 
 5      (2)  It shall be an affirmative defense to a prosecution
 
 6 under this section that the person's sole intent was to destroy
 
 7 or damage the property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
 8 property for a purpose permitted by law and the person had no
 
 9 reasonable grounds to believe that the person's conduct might
 
10 endanger the life or safety of another person or damage other
 
11 property.
 
12      (3)  As a part of the sentence following conviction, the
 
13 court may order the defendant to pay restitution to:
 
14      (a)  Persons having a legal or equitable interest in the
 
15           property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
16           property; and
 
17      (b)  The State or any political subdivision thereof for the
 
18           costs of police, fire, or emergency services used in
 
19           responding to the fire or explosion.
 
20      (4)  Arson in the second degree is a class C felony.
 
21      708-     Arson in the third degree.  (1)  A person commits
 
22 the offense of arson in the third degree, if by means of fire or
 
23 explosion, the person recklessly creates or causes physical harm
 

 
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 1 to any property, park, preserve, wildlands other real property.
 
 2      (2)  As a part of the sentence following conviction, the
 
 3 court may order the defendant to pay restitution to:
 
 4      (a)   Persons having a legal or equitable interest in the
 
 5           property, park, preserve, wildlands, or other real
 
 6           property; and
 
 7      (b)  The State or any political subdivision thereof for the
 
 8           costs of police, fire, or emergency services used in
 
 9           responding to the fire or explosion.
 
10      (3)  Arson in the third degree is a misdemeanor."
 
11      SECTION 2.  Section 132-4.5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
12 amended to read as follows:
 
13      "[[]132-4.5[]]  Investigation of fires; immunity for
 
14 information received from insurers.(a)  The fire chief, police
 
15 chief, and the prosecuting attorney of each county may require
 
16 any insurer in writing to release information relating to any
 
17 investigation the insurer has made concerning a loss or potential
 
18 loss due to fire of suspicious or incendiary origin which
 
19 information shall include but not be limited to:
 
20      (1)  An insurance policy relating to such loss;
 
21      (2)  Policy premium records;
 
22      (3)  History of previous claims; and
 
23      (4)  Other relevant material relating to such loss or
 

 
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 1           potential loss.
 
 2      (b)  If any insurer has reason to suspect that a fire loss
 
 3 to its insured's real or personal property was caused by
 
 4 incendiary means, the insurer shall furnish the county fire chief
 
 5 with all relevant material acquired during its investigation of
 
 6 the fire loss, cooperate with and take such action as may be
 
 7 required of it by the county fire chief, police chief, and
 
 8 prosecuting attorney, and permit any person ordered by the court
 
 9 to inspect any of its records pertaining to the policy and the
 
10 loss.  Such insurer may request the county fire chief, police
 
11 chief, or prosecuting attorney to release information relating to
 
12 any investigation the fire chief, police chief, or prosecuting
 
13 attorney has made concerning any such fire loss of suspicious or
 
14 incendiary origin.
 
15      (c)  In the absence of fraud, malice, or criminal act, no
 
16 insurer or person who furnishes information on its behalf, shall
 
17 be liable for damages in a civil action or be subject to criminal
 
18 prosecution for any oral or written statement made that is
 
19 necessary to supply information required pursuant to this
 
20 section.
 
21      (d)  The county fire chief, police chief, and prosecuting
 
22 attorney receiving any information furnished pursuant to this
 
23 section shall hold the information in confidence until such time
 

 
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 1 as its release is required in furtherance of a criminal or civil
 
 2 proceeding.
 
 3      (e)  The county fire chief, police chief, and prosecuting
 
 4 attorney, in person or by officers or members of [the fire
 
 5 chief's fire department,] their respective departments, may be
 
 6 required to testify as to any information in [the fire chief's]
 
 7 their possession regarding the fire loss of real or personal
 
 8 property in any civil action in which any person seeks recovery
 
 9 under a policy against any insurance company for the fire loss." 
 
10      SECTION 3.  Section 708-800, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
11 amended by adding two new definitions to be appropriately
 
12 inserted and to read as follows:
 
13      ""Explosion" means a rapid, sudden, and violent expansion of
 
14 air or relinquishment of energy with resultant pressures that are
 
15 capable of producing destructive effects on contiguous objects or
 
16 of destroying life or limb.  "Explosion" shall include but is not
 
17 limited to a sudden and rapid combustion causing violent
 
18 expansion of the air, or the sudden bursting or breaking up in
 
19 pieces from an internal or other force.  "Explosion" shall not be
 
20 limited to cases caused by combustion or fire, but may include
 
21 those resulting from decomposition or chemical action.
 
22      "Physical harm" means any tangible damage to property which,
 
23 in any degree, results in loss to its value or interferes with
 

 
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 1 its use or enjoyment."
 
 2      SECTION 4.  Section 708-800, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
 3 amended by amending the definition of "widely dangerous means" to
 
 4 read as follows:
 
 5      ""Widely dangerous means" includes [explosion, fire,] flood,
 
 6 avalanche, collapse of building, poison gas, radioactive
 
 7 material, or any other material, substance, force, or means
 
 8 capable of causing potential widespread injury or damage."
 
 9      SECTION 5.  Section 708-820, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
10 amended by amending subsection (1) to read as follows:
 
11      "(1)  A person commits the offense of criminal property
 
12 damage in the first degree if:
 
13      (a)  The person intentionally damages property by means
 
14           other than fire or explosion and thereby recklessly
 
15           places another person in danger of death or bodily
 
16           injury; or
 
17      (b)  The person intentionally damages the property of
 
18           another[,] by means other than fire or explosion,
 
19           without the other's consent, in an amount exceeding
 
20           $20,000."
 
21      SECTION 6.  Section 708-821, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
22 amended to read as follows:
 
23      "(1)  A person commits the offense of criminal property
 

 
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 1 damage in the second degree if:
 
 2      (a)  The person intentionally damages the property of
 
 3           another, without the other's consent, by the use of
 
 4           widely dangerous means; or
 
 5      (b)  The person intentionally damages the property of
 
 6           another[,] by means other than fire or explosion,
 
 7           without the other's consent, in an amount exceeding
 
 8           $1,500."
 
 9      SECTION 7.  Section 708-822, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
10 amended by amending subsection (1) to read as follows:
 
11      "(1)  A person commits the offense of criminal property
 
12 damage in the third degree if:
 
13      (a)  The person recklessly damages the property of another,
 
14           without the other's consent, by the use of widely
 
15           dangerous means; or
 
16      (b)  The person intentionally damages the property of
 
17           another[,] by means other than fire or explosion,
 
18           without the other's consent, in an amount exceeding
 
19           $500."
 
20      SECTION 8.  Section 708-823, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 
21 amended by amending subsection (1) to read as follows:
 
22      "(1)  A person commits the offense of criminal property
 
23 damage in the fourth degree if the person intentionally damages
 

 
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 1 the property of another by means other than fire or explosion
 
 2 without the other's consent." 
 
 3      SECTION 9.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that
 
 4 matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were
 
 5 begun, before its effective date.
 
 6      SECTION 10.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 
 7 New statutory material is underscored.
 
 8      SECTION 11.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 
 9 
 
10                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________
 

 
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