Intersection between Arson and Insurance Fraud
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Arson usually involves at least one other crime when committed such as insurance fraud. This happens when the person that sets the fire also has an insurance policy on the building and causes the immolation for the settlement the carrier would provide.
This means that these two crimes generally work in conjunction and may be prosecuted together against the defendant after he or she has been charged with arson crimes. Circumstances that involve arson usually are because someone has targeted another in order to suffer from the fire damage, or an individual wants or needs money and burns a property he or she owns with insurance on it.
Investigations into arson may include the local fire department, an arson investigator, the insurance company involved and the person that is under suspicion. Fraud cases may also be initiated simultaneously while the arson claim has commenced. When compounding these factors together in the court room, the person that is convicted may face more severe sentencing, but this may also be determined through other factors included in the proceedings such as the degree of the arson, if anyone was harmed in the process and how much of an insurance settlement would have been provided if he or she were to get away with the crime.
The Connection between Insurance and Arson
Many cases of arson involve insurance fraud because it is easier to obtain an insurance settlement for immolation damage than earning the money the legitimate way for some. Torching the property and then waiting for the monetary payment for insurance policies is often the connection between insurance and arson. In many cases, this is a commercial or real estate not in use that has been scorched. However, in certain situations, the building is a home. For those seeking to get away with the crime, they may destroy everything within their home to obtain insurance settlements. However, it is still possible to become the prime suspect in the case of arson.
When an investigation is launched for arson, an insurance carrier generally has an insurance adjuster or other investigator involved to discover if there is a connection between the arson and the policy in possession for the property. If the fire department, law enforcement and other authorities are unable to uncover the truth, an insurance company could find the connection to the owner. The motive of a payment is usually applied to the person that owns the property so that the connection and relationship are clear to associate the crime to him or her. To defend against these problems, a criminal defense lawyer versed in arson cases should be hired immediately to refute claims and build a defensive strategy.
Identifying Insurance Fraud
It is often the insurance adjuster or investigator that discovers the insurance fraud in effect. This could be through evidence found at the crime scene, the dates insurance policies were purchased versus when the fire occurred or similar concerns. The insurance carrier may be actively looking for these connections to avoid payouts and settlements that are extensive. Some homeowners purchase excessive amounts of insurance coverage for accidental or fire damage. This could be an indication that they are seeking to immolate a property for the insurance payment afterwards. However, other professionals could discover the connection based on other factors.
Fire investigators that sift through the scene of the scorched building may discover evidence that links the homeowner to the crime. However, once physical proof has been found that the fire was started by someone, it may be possible to trace the items through purchases, DNA on the objects or other items. If the homeowner is not the perpetrator, it may be found by these professionals investigating the fire. Some materials used may not be purchased by the average person, and other resources are not known to the standard owner of a property. Through these analyses, it may be possible to reveal another suspect or a conspiracy to commit insurance fraud by a group of persons.
Legal Help for Criminal Charges
Some arson cases involve the false accusations of the homeowner or similar persons. This could be through witnesses that are mistaken about certain details, the insurance policy being purchased too soon to the crime and similar details. When charges are issued, it is crucial to hire a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to build a defense against the charges. It is imperative that the case is successful to avoid years in prison and excessive fines.
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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.