Florida is surrounded by water, making it an ideal place to fish. The state's legislature recognizes that people enjoy partaking in this pastime, and, as such, allows for fishing off its coasts. However, the state also realizes that there is a need to preserve wildlife, and has established rules and regulations that limit how and when a person can fish. If you are accused of committing a fishing violation, you could face harsh penalties. The offenses are charged at different levels, and a conviction could result in a steep fine or incarceration.
If you've been charged with violating one of Florida's fishing laws in St. Petersburg, understand that you may have legal options to fight the accusations. Depending on your situation, various defenses could be raised that minimize the potential penalties you could face. At The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger, we are here to provide the aggressive representation you need. We have extensive experience in the criminal justice system, including time spent working as a prosecutor, and we know how to thoroughly prepare for cases and present compelling arguments on your behalf.
What Types of Fishing Violations Are There in Florida?
As mentioned earlier, Florida places various rules and regulations on those looking to fish in the state. The fish and wildlife conservation statutes are many, which means there are numerous types of violations individuals could commit.
Types of Florida Fishing Violations may include:
- Throwing explosives or other substances into fresh waters: It is illegal to throw into fresh waters any type of substance or device that harms or could harm the fish.
- Fishing on a suspended or revoked license: Attempting to catch fish while your fishing license is invalid is a violation of the law.
- Possessing or transporting large quantities of freshwater game fish: If a person has or transports what Florida considers “commercial quantities” (150 pounds or more) of freshwater game fish, they’re committing an offense.
- Creating a fake license: It is illegal for you to make or possess a counterfeit fishing license (one not authorized by the commission).
What Are the Penalties for a Fishing Violation?
In Florida, fishing violations are separated into various levels. If you're found guilty of an offense, the punishments you could face depend on your circumstances.
We provide aggressive defense against criminal fishing offenses, including:
- Level Two Violations: First-time violations are charged as second-degree misdemeanors, which carry conviction penalties of up to 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. If a person commits a second or subsequent violation within a certain number of years, they face harsher punishments.
- Level Three Violations: If a person is accused of this type of violation, they are charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction for this level is punishable by up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Level Four Violations: These are considered the most severe and are charged as third-degree felonies. A person convicted of an offense could spend up to 5 years in prison and/or be fined up to $5,000.
Get Experienced Legal Defense from The Law Office of Timothy Hessinger
If you’ve been charged with a criminal fishing violation, not taking action to defend yourself could result in severe consequences. When you need an advocate committed to fighting to protect your rights and freedoms, reach out to our attorney in St. Petersburg as soon as possible.
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