Burning to Defraud the Insurer Defense Lawyers in Florida
Florida Attorneys Who Defend Clients Charged With Burning to Defraud the Insurer and Other Property Crimes
According to Florida law, property crimes are typically deliberate actions that produce a loss of or harm to an individual's property. Property crimes could be filed as a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the crime circumstances. Regardless of whether a crime is charged as a felony or misdemeanor, the fines, jail sentence, and other punishments, if found guilty, are severe. The property crimes defense attorneys at Musca Law have decades of experience defending people against serious crimes such as property crimes. We know the complexities and challenges usually associated with these criminal cases. Contact our law office today to discuss your case with one of our experienced attorneys.
Examples of Property Crimes in the State of Florida
Florida identifies many types of property crimes. The charges filed against a defendant depends on the circumstances of the crime and the property's valuation involved. Also, if an act of violence was committed in the commission of a property crime, the charges may be enhanced and carry additional punishments if convicted.
Property crimes in the state of Florida include:
- Burglary - residential homes and commercial buildings.
- Burning to defraud the insurer
- Car burglary
- Criminal mischief
- Grand theft
- Petit theft
If police are questioning you or a loved one or if you or a loved one has been charged with any of those crimes, remember to remain silent and call Musca Law. Our aggressive and skilled criminal attorneys will examine these charges and advise you about your legal rights and the best approach to fight the charges. Our legal professionals understand how these and all criminal charges could have an enormous effect on you or your loved one's life. Our hardworking attorneys work hard to develop the best potential defense for our clients.
Burning to Defraud the Insurer Charges in Florida
Our attorneys are skilled in representing individuals accused of burning to defraud an insurance company and arson. These crimes are unique offenses in numerous ways. For example, these crimes often include the defendant's own property instead of another person's property. While it is ordinarily not a crime to destroy or burn your own property, it becomes a crime in Florida if you burn or damage your property to collect money by filing a claim on an insurance policy covering the property.
Florida Statute § 817.233 covers the crime of burning to defraud the insurer. Florida Statute § 817.233 defines the crimes mentioned above as purposefully causing a fire to an insured home, building, residence, structure, or any other real property with the intention of defrauding the insurer.
An individual is accused of "Burning to Defraud the Insurer" in the State of Florida may be arrested and charged with a felony in the third-degree. It is important to understand that an individual may be charged with "Burning to Defraud the Insurer" for merely attempting to start a fire when the accused intended to file a fire damage or loss claim on an insurance policy. In other words, it does not matter if the fire resulted in actual fire damage or loss. Also, an individual may be arrested and prosecuted for this crime if the accused aided, counseled, or obtained help to burn the property. In other words, this crime doesn´t always apply to the individual who actually started the fire.
Usually, the crime of "Burning to Defraud the Insurer" includes a fictional story about how the fire began or what precipitated the fire. Insurance companies pay close attention to insurance policy claims that involve fire damage or fire loss. Insurance companies often have special investigative teams tasked only with investigating fire loss claims. These investigative teams will initiate an investigation that normally includes sample testing and burn pattern analysis to determine where the fire started and if an accelerant was used to start the fire.
Elements in a Burning to Defraud the Insurer Criminal Case in Florida
The state prosecutors are obligated to prove four elements of the crime to secure a conviction for the crime of "Burning to Defraud the Insurer." These elements are included in Florida's jury instruction on "Burning to Defraud the Insurer," which similarly follows Florida Statute § 817.233.
Those key elements include:
- The accused attempted to set fire or burn the property that is described in the charges; or the accused aided, counseled, or procured the burning of the property;
- The real or personal property was legally owned by the person named in the criminal charges;
- The real or personal property was covered under an insurance policy for fire damage or fire loss; and
- The accused´s behavior was intentional and acted on with the intention to defraud the insurance company.
As part of your legal defense, your defense lawyer will attempt to beat each of these elements in the state's case. This could include administering an independent investigation, speaking with witnesses, and hiring experts. Fire simulations and burn pattern analysis usually include junk science that our attorneys understand how to convincingly dispute at trial. Contact Musca Law today to understand how we may be able to help you.
Burning to Defraud the Insurer Punishments and Penalties
According to Florida Statute § 775.082, a felony in the third-degree is punishable with a fine of up to $5,000 and a prison sentence of up to five years. These punishments may change if the defendant is a habitual felony offender according to Florida Statute § 775.084. This includes an individual who has been convicted of two or more felonies in Florida or commits a felony during a prison sentence or period of court-ordered supervision.
A habitual felony offender could also include people who commit a felony within five years of their last conviction of a felony or within five years of finishing a prior sentence. A criminal justice court might impose a lengthier prison sentence on a defendant who is deemed a habitual felony offender.
Protect Your Rights and Contact Musca Law Today!
Our Florida property crimes lawyers are ready to handle your property crimes case. We offer free, confidential case review, during which our attorneys will study the circumstances of your unique case. Contact us today to protect your rights in the face of a property crimes charge. Our attorneys are available to provide your consultation now when you call (888) 484-5057.