Woman Drives Car at Ex-Boyfriend, Sets Car on Fire

April 27, 2023 Criminal Defense, Theft/Property Crimes, Violent Crimes

Breakups can be hard, but that does not give anyone the right to commit crimes against their ex. In a recent Florida case, a woman is now facing a series of criminal charges after allegedly driving into her ex’s driveway and damaging his car, before lighting her own car on fire.

This article will provide case details, along with the relevant criminal charges in Florida.

What was the Case?

Miami-Dade Police arrested Iviss Aburto, 27, for a series of alleged criminal offenses that began on February 24th, 2023. According to the report, Aburto drove to her ex-boyfriend’s house around 3 am and dragged his pressure washer to her parked car down the street.

When Aburto’s ex-boyfriend heard the commotion, he contacted the police for assistance “due to previous altercations [with Aburto].” While he and another victim went outside to inspect their vehicles, they saw Aburto’s car driving at a high rate of speed turning towards their driveway and aiming at them both.

Aburto’s ex-boyfriend began firing a gun at Aburto’s Mazda out of fear for his life, the report states. The defendant began to reverse but drove forward again until she crashed into a gray Toyota Corolla in the ex’s driveway before driving off. The owner of the damaged vehicle claimed this is not the first time Aburto vandalized her car but chose not to report it previously.

The following day a police officer spotted Aburto’s Mazda on fire in an open field in southwest Miami-Dade. According to a separate police report, Aburto reported her car as stolen after the incident at her ex’s place.

During an investigation with Miami-Dade police, Aburto claimed her car was stolen from her house between February 23rd and 24th. However, surveillance video showed Aburto driving her Mazda on the morning of the 24th. In addition, her cellphone data obtained by police indicated she was in the field when her car was found on fire.

Police have since arrested Aburto for multiple offenses. She is currently facing two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of criminal mischief, tampering with evidence, second-degree arson, burning to defraud an insurer, filing a false insurance claim, and filing a false police report in the commission of a crime.

Aggravated Assault in Florida

Under Florida Statute Section 784.021, the following four elements make up an aggravated assault charge:

  1. The defendant intentionally and unlawfully threatened the alleged victim, by verbal threat or by a physical act;
  2. At the time the defendant made the threat, they appeared to have the ability to carry out the threat;
  3. The defendant’s threat caused the victim a well-founded fear that the defendant was going to act violently toward them; and
  4. The alleged assault incident was made with either:
    1. A deadly weapon; or
    2. The intent to commit a felony offense.

A “deadly weapon” is considered any weapon or device which is threatened or used in a way that would likely cause great bodily harm or death. Deadly weapons can include any of the following:

  • Bat
  • Knife
  • Pocketknife
  • Broken bottle
  • Rock
  • Stick
  • Vehicle

Example case Bryan v. State indicated how a defendant can be charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for driving a vehicle toward a victim or victims, with the appearance of intentionally driving into the victim(s).

In Florida, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon is considered a third-degree felony. The penalties for a third-degree penalty include up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years of imprisonment. However, the penalties can be increased if there was a firearm discharged during the aggravated assault incident.

Arson Charges

When a person intentionally sets something on fire, either to destroy or damage the item or property, they can face charges of arson. Florida Statute Section 806.01 explains that an arson offense can vary between a second- and first-degree felony, depending on the specific details of the case.

Arson in the second-degree is when any person unlawfully, or during the commission of any felony offense, causes damages to any structure by fire or explosion. This includes property belonging to themselves or someone else. The penalties for second-degree arson include up to $10,000 in fines and up to 15 years of imprisonment.

Arson in the first-degree is when any person willfully and unlawfully, or during the commission of any felony offense, causes damages by fire or explosion:

  • Any dwelling, whether occupied or not, or its contents;
  • Any structure, or contents thereof, where people are normally present, such as:
    • Jails
    • Prisons
    • Detention Centers
    • Hospitals
    • Nursing homes
    • Department stores
    • Office buildings
    • Churches
    • Education institutions during normal hours of occupancy; or
  • Any other structure which they knew or should have reason to believe was occupied by another person.

The charge for arson in the first-degree is a first-degree felony. The penalties for a first-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

Burning to Defraud an Insurer

While an individual may burn their own personal property for lawful reasons, Florida law makes it a crime for an individual to burn, even their property, while committing a crime or for the purpose of committing a crime such as fraud.

Florida Statute § 817.233 prohibits burning to defraud an insurer or insurance company. The law defines this crime as purposefully causing a fire to an insured home, building, residence, structure, or any other personal property with the intent to injure or defraud their insurer.

To learn more about Arson in Florida, click on our link here.

Penalties for Tampering with Evidence

The criminal offense of tampering with evidence involves altering, destroying, or concealing evidence to prevent it from being used in a legal proceeding. Tampering with evidence is seen as an obstruction of justice, as it hinders the ability of law enforcement and the courts to accurately determine the truth in a case.

Examples of tampering with evidence include:

  • Destroying physical evidence, such as the weapon used in a crime or a piece of clothing with blood or other substances on it;
  • Altering or fabricating documents, such as a forged signature or modifying a contract; and/or
  • Concealing evidence, such as hiding drugs in a secret compartment of a vehicle or throwing a weapon into the ocean.

Florida Statute Section 918.13 explains tampering with evidence is considered a third-degree felony. A defendant accused of tampering with evidence can face up to $5,000 in fines, up to five years of imprisonment, or both.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Facing a criminal offense is both confusing and stressful. The best way to get ahead of the charges against you is to contact a defense attorney in your area. A skilled attorney will review all your case details and strategize the best possible defense. Don Pumphrey and his team have spent years defending those wrongfully accused of a crime in Florida.

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges, contact Pumphrey Law Firm at your earliest convenience. Our attorneys will strive to provide top-quality defense while making sure all of your rights are protected. To receive a free consultation regarding your case, call us at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Key

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