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Burning to Defraud an Insurer or Insurance Company

If you were charged with burning a structure or building to defraud an insurer or insurance company then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm. We are experienced in representing clients in serious felony cases including arson and related property crimes.

Related criminal offenses typically include arson or criminal mischief. If you were accused of any property crime in the Tampa Bay area, including Tampa in Hillsborough County, or a surrounding area then call us to discuss your case. Call 813-250-0500.


Jury Instruction for Burning to Defraud an Insurer

The jury instructions for Burning to Defraud an Insurer or Insurance Company is contained in section 12.5. The jury instruction tracks the statutory language in Florida Statute § 817.233.

In order to prove the crime of Burning to Defraud an Insurer or Insurance Company, the prosecutor with the State Attorney's office must prove the following four elements beyond a reasonable doubt at trial:

  1. The Defendant set fire to a building, structure, or personal property as alleged in the charging document (in the alternative, this element can allege that the defendant aided, counseled, or procured the burning of, actually burned, attempted to set fire to, attempted to burn, or caused to be burned the building, structure, or personal property.)
  2. The property belonged to the person alleged.
  3. The property was insured against loss or damage by fire.
  4. The defendant (Defendant) acted willfully and with a fully-formed, conscious intent to injure or defraud the insurer of the property.

The term "willfully" means intentionally, knowingly, and purposely.

Call a criminal defense attorney at the Sammis Law Firm to discuss charges for arson or related felony crimes under Florida law. These serious charges need a serious defense. Hiring an attorney as early in the process as possible to fight to protect your rights is your best defense against an unjust or overly aggressive prosecution.