Fishing Penalties

Spiny Lobster

  • Florida Statute §379.407(5) explains the penalties for:
  • possession of spiny lobsters during the closed season.
  • lobsters that have wrung tails.
  • possession of undersized lobsters.

Florida Statute §379.407(5)(a) states that it is a major violation to be in possession of spiny lobster during closed season or while in the water, possession of tails separated from the body (wrung tails). The penalties are:

  • A first violation is a second degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    • Up to 60 days in jail.
    • Up to a $500 fine.
    • If there 25 or more lobsters, it is a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • A second violation is a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    •  Up to one year in jail.
    •  Up to $1,000 fine.
    •  A 90-day suspension of all recreational licenses and permits.
  • A third violation is a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    •  Mandatory minimum of 6 months in jail with up to 1 year in jail.
    •  Up to $1,000 fine.
    •  A civil penalty of up to $2,500.
    •  A suspension of up to 6 months for recreational licenses and permits
  • A third violation within a year after a second violation is a third degree felony, which is punishable as follows:
    • Mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail with up to 5 years in state prison.
    • Up to $5,000 fine.
    • A civil penalty of $5,000.
    • Permanent revocation of all recreational licenses and permits licenses.
  • A fourth or subsequent violation is a third degree felony, which is punishable as follows:
    • Mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail with up to 5 years in state prison.
    • Up to $5,000 fine.
    • $5,000 civil penalty.
    • Permanent revocation of all recreational licenses and permits.

Florida Statute §379.407(5)(b) makes it a major violation to possess undersized spiny lobster.

  • For violations involving less than 100 undersized lobsters, each undersized lobster may be charged as a separate offense. The total penalties for less than 100 undersized lobsters arising out of one occurrence may not be more than 4 years imprisonment and a fine of $4,000.
  • A first violation for possession of an undersized lobster is a second degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    •  Up to 60 days in jail.
    •  Up to $500 fine.
  • For a second or subsequent violation, it is a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    • Up to 1 year in jail.
    • Up to $1,000 fine.
  • If the violation involves 100 or more undersized lobsters, it is a third degree felony, which is punishable as follows:
    • Up to 5 years in state prison.
    • $5,000 fine.
    • Mandatory civil penalty of at least $500.
    • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission must issue an administrative penalty of up to $2,000 and suspend all recreation licenses and permits for up to 12 months.

Florida Statute §379.407 can be found in its entirety at:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0379/Sections/0379.407.html

 

Freshwater and Saltwater Fish

Florida Statute §379.401(2) outlines level two fish and wildlife conservation violations such as:

  • Violating the season or time period for the taking of freshwater or saltwater fish.
  • Violating bag, possession, or size limits.
  • Violating landing requirements for freshwater or saltwater fish.
  • Violations related to fishers and equipment.
  • Violations related to spearfishing.
  • Violation of Florida Statute §379.357(3), which states that a person may not kill, take or possess a tarpon unless the person has purchased a tarpon tag and the tag is securely attached through the lower jaw of the tarpon.

Level two violations are punishable as follows:

  • A person who commits a level two violation but has not been convicted of a level two or higher violation within the past 3 years commits a second degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    • Up to $500 fine.
    • Up to 60 days in jail.
  • If a person commits a level two violation within 3 years after a previous conviction of a level two or higher violation commits a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    • Minimum fine of $250 with a $1,000 maximum fine.
    • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • If a person commits a level two violation within 5 years after 2 previous convictions for a level two or higher violation commits a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    • Mandatory minimum fine of $500 with a $1,000 maximum fine.
    • Up to 1 year in jail.
    • Suspension of all recreational licenses and permits for 1 year.
  • If a person commits a level two violation within 10 years after 3 previous convictions for a level two or higher violation commits a first degree misdemeanor, which is punishable as follows:
    • Mandatory minimum fine of $750 with a $1,000 maximum fine.
    • Up to 1 year in jail. 
    • Suspension of all recreational licenses and permits for 3 years. 


Florida Statute §379.401 can be found in its entirety at:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0379/Sections/0379.401.html

Florida Statute §379.357 can be found in its entirety at:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0379/Sections/0379.357.html

Contact an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney in Key West, Florida

The State of Florida treats marine life violations extremely seriously and seeks jail time for many violations. The Jamindar Law Firm is focused on aggressively defending locals and tourists against marine life violations in Monroe County, Florida. To schedule a free initial consultation, call me at 305-204-6869 or contact me online. My office is conveniently located at 422 Fleming Street on the edge of the Key West Historical District.