So, you’ve got this case on your desk. The investigator is telling you it’s arson. Whether you’re a prosecutor or defense lawyer in a criminal matter or the attorney for the insurance company or homeowner in a civil arson case, you have a decision to make. Move forward, accept the case or reject it and use your valuable time and resources on another case.
Here’s 4 strong warning signs that the investigator may have gotten it wrong.
- Uses the “odd behavior” or “motive” of a suspect instead of physical evidence to determine a fire cause.
- Report contains long debunked fire terms such as: “Alligator Char”, “Spalled Concrete”, “Crazed Glass”, “Pour Patterns”
- The Fire Scenario seems implausible or overly complicated.
(Think “Occam’s Razor”)
- Uses arson dog “hits” without positive conformation from a laboratory test, or didn’t consider innocent reasons for the presence of “accelerants” at a fire scene.
Still not sure… consider calling in an independent expert for a file review. Spend a little bit now to save tons of money and headaches down the line.
To learn more warning signs or to request an independent case review- contact me.
Christine Meier, firstname.lastname@example.org, 941-900-1234