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Fort Myers Criminal Defense Lawyer / Blog / Burglary, Theft & Vandalism / Penalties for Setting a Car on Fire in Fort Myers

Penalties for Setting a Car on Fire in Fort Myers


People may set cars on fire in Fort Myers for various reasons. Some may do so while participating in political protests, while others may carry out these acts due to poor judgment. Still others may face arson allegations for purely accidental incidents. Vehicles are very flammable due to their fuel tanks – and innocent mistakes can lead to serious criminal charges. What can you do if you were accused of setting a car on fire in Fort Myers – and how should you defend yourself in court?

Firebombing vs. Arson in Florida 

Although Florida laws mention “structures” and “properties” in reference to arson, you can also face these charges if you set fire to cars. You will face especially serious penalties if other people were present or endangered by the fire. The worst possible penalties involve injuries or deaths – and it is possible to spend the rest of your life in prison after a serious arson conviction.

Florida also has its own separate laws against firebombs. These destructive devices are containers with flammable or combustible materials, and they feature wicks or similar ignition devices. If you used a firebomb when setting fire to a car, you could face an additional third-degree felony. An example involves throwing a “Molotov cocktail” at a police car – which has become a common act of violent protest in certain activist groups.

Recent Examples of Vehicle Arson 

In March of 2024, Fort Myers police reported that they had arrested a woman on suspicion of committing arson at a church. After she was placed in a patrol car, the suspect somehow started an additional fire within the vehicle. This woman was apparently nude throughout the entire incident. In total, Fort Myers police put out two small fires left by the suspect. She is facing charges of arson, property damage, and criminal mischief. However, she may experience leniency under the Baker Act due to her apparent mental health issues.

In December of 2023, a woman faced felony arson charges after setting fire to a car with a man inside. The incident allegedly occurred after a “Tinder date gone wrong.” According to the male victim, the suspect arrived for the date and immediately demanded money. When he refused, he claimed that she poured gasoline on the passenger seat and ignited the fuel with a lighter. She was eventually charged with aggravated battery, attempted murder, and arson. This incident shows how serious the consequences can be when you set fire to a car – especially if a person is inside the vehicle.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Arson Defense Lawyer in Fort Myers 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced  defense lawyer in Fort Myers, look no further than Foley & Wilson. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants facing allegations of violent crimes – including arson. To discuss potential defense strategies in more detail, book a consultation at your earliest convenience.




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