Insurance can be a tricky business, and if you have recently filed a claim, you may have been startled to find out that the insurance company began investigating you for fraud. This could be due to red flags in your claim, but in many instances it is also because an insurance company simply may not want to pay out—and insinuating that you may have burned your house down yourself rather than paying out for the claim is an unfortunate, but common exercise in bad faith practiced by insurers not wanting to part with their money. In other cases of bad faith, they may also cause unreasonable delays, offer to pay but with a low-ball offer, or just outright deny the claim with very little justification.
Losing your home—or a portion of it—to a fire can be an extremely devastating experience. You may have had to move out entirely and are dealing not only with being displaced but wondering if your claim will be paid and if not, how you will afford to rebuild your home. Being accused of arson adds insult to injury to say the least, and if they are acting in bad faith, you will need a skilled insurance company to pursue litigation. If you are in hot water over a serious counterclaim on their part as they attempt to see you charged with arson, then most likely they have found a way to show that the fire was incendiary, that you had motive, and opportunity.
The insurance company most likely will have asked for a voluminous amount of documentation, including tax returns, so they can build a case against you for financial hardship—which is exactly what you may be worried about due to having nowhere to live. Being charged with arson is very serious and considered a felony that could include jail time and serious fines in the case of a conviction. There are two different kinds of arson charges in California—malicious arson and reckless arson. Although both types of arson are considered very grave offenses, malicious arson is usually considered to be much worse, and in the face of a conviction carries more jail time.
If you have been arrested due to arson, please call the Dolan Law Offices now. We will listen carefully to your concerns, review your case, and offer advice based on many years of experience. John Patrick Dolan understands California’s complex criminal defense laws and our office will provide the experience you need to help you fight for your rights and best interests. Call us at (760) 775-3739 or contact us online as soon as possible.