FWC Resource Citation in Pinellas County
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in Pinellas County, FL, have begun issuing more resource citations for fishing violations for second degree misdemeanors.
Even if the officer doesn’t formally arrest you and take you to jail, being issued a resource citation for charges in violation of an administrative code in violation of Section 379.401(2) is a Level 2 offense.
Many people are shocked to find out that even a first Level 2 offense is classified as a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine plus court costs and/or up to six (6) months in jail.
For example, a violation for Section 379.401(2) means the charge is classified as a LEVEL TWO VIOLATIONS. If a person is convicted of a Level Two violation and has not been convicted of a Level Two or higher violation within the past 3 years, then the offense is charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to a $500 fine plus court costs and/or 6 months in jail.
If the FWC resource citation references Section 379.401(2)(a)9, applies for violations of any rules or orders of the commission which are not otherwise classified.
Attorney for FWC Resource Citations in Pinellas County, FL
Every year, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issues executive orders that prohibit fishing for certain types of fish unless the fish are immediately caught and released. Other types of criminal violations apply to harvesting or possessing unsized fish or fishing when the harvest of that kind of fish is closed.
Lately, more resource citations have been issued for boating offenses or other violations that occur on the water.
No matter the circumstances, an attorney at Sammis Law Firm can help you fight the resource citation issued in Pinellas County, FL. We also fight FWC resource citations in all of the surrounding areas including Brooksville in Hernando County, New Port Richey and Dade City in Pasco County, Clearwater and St. Petersburg in Pinellas County, Bradenton in Manatee County, and Bartow in Polk County, FL.
If you received a “notice to appear” in court in Pinellas County, FL, then contact us to speak with an attorney for any hunting, fishing, or wildlife violation.
Mandatory Court Appearance for a Resource Citation
The Resource Citation will reference a “mandatory court appearance” if the offense is criminal. This means you are required to appear in court. The resource citation will explain the time and place that you must appear in court to answer the offense charged.
If you fail to appear in court as required on the notice to appear or resource citation, then you can be held in contempt of court and a warrant can be issued for your arrest.
In addition to the criminal penalties for a second degree misdemeanor that apply to a FWC resource commission, administrative penalties can be imposed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), included but not limited to fines, license suspension, or license revocation.
Resource Citation Court Appear Instructions in Florida
If you retain an attorney, the attorney can file a written plea of “not guilty” on your behalf. Unless you retain an attorney to appear in court for you, you must appear in court yourself.
Although the form encourages you to enter a plea of “guilty” or “nolo contender” (no contest), that action comes with serious and expensive consequences that can last a lifetime. For example, if you are convicted of the crime, you can never seal or expunge this criminal history record or any other record in Florida.
The better result is hiring an attorney and getting the charges dropped on the merits so that you don’t have to pay fines or court costs or have a criminal conviction. In fact, hiring an attorney is often the least expensive way to handle the case when all of the costs are added up.
This article was last updated on Friday, November 23, 2020.