Skip to Navigation | Skip to Main Content | Skip to Site Map

MyFloridaHouse.gov | Flsenate.gov Archives | Mobile Site

Senate Tracker: Sign Up | Login

Senate Live by Watch Now

2011 Florida Statutes

SECTION 401
Penalties and violations; civil penalties for noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and forfeiture of licenses and permits.
F.S. 379.401
379.401 Penalties and violations; civil penalties for noncriminal infractions; criminal penalties; suspension and forfeiture of licenses and permits.
(1)(a) LEVEL ONE VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level One violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the filing of reports or other documents required to be filed by persons who hold recreational licenses and permits issued by the commission.
2. Rules or orders of the commission relating to quota hunt permits, daily use permits, hunting zone assignments, camping, alcoholic beverages, vehicles, and check stations within wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission.
3. Rules or orders of the commission relating to daily use permits, alcoholic beverages, swimming, possession of firearms, operation of vehicles, and watercraft speed within fish management areas managed by the commission.
4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to vessel size or specifying motor restrictions on specified water bodies.
5. Section 379.355, providing for special recreational spiny lobster licenses.
6. Section 379.354(1)-(15), providing for recreational licenses to hunt, fish, and trap.
7. Section 379.3581, providing hunter safety course requirements.
8. Section 379.3003, prohibiting deer hunting unless required clothing is worn.
(b) A person who commits a Level One violation commits a noncriminal infraction and shall be cited to appear before the county court.
(c)1. The civil penalty for committing a Level One violation involving the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354 is $50 plus the cost of the license or permit, unless subparagraph 2. applies.
2. The civil penalty for committing a Level One violation involving the license and permit requirements of s. 379.354 is $100 plus the cost of the license or permit if the person cited has previously committed the same Level One violation within the preceding 36 months.
(d)1. The civil penalty for any other Level One violation is $50 unless subparagraph 2. applies.
2. The civil penalty for any other Level One violation is $100 if the person cited has previously committed the same Level One violation within the preceding 36 months.
(e) A person cited for a Level One violation shall sign and accept a citation to appear before the county court. The issuing officer may indicate on the citation the time and location of the scheduled hearing and shall indicate the applicable civil penalty.
(f) A person cited for a Level One violation may pay the civil penalty by mail or in person within 30 days after receipt of the citation. If the civil penalty is paid, the person shall be deemed to have admitted committing the Level One violation and to have waived his or her right to a hearing before the county court. Such admission may not be used as evidence in any other proceedings except to determine the appropriate fine for any subsequent violations.
(g) A person who refuses to accept a citation, who fails to pay the civil penalty for a Level One violation, or who fails to appear before a county court as required commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(h) A person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear before the county court shall be deemed to have waived the limitations on civil penalties provided under paragraphs (c) and (d). After a hearing, the county court shall determine if a Level One violation has been committed, and if so, may impose a civil penalty of not less than $50 for a first-time violation, and not more than $500 for subsequent violations. A person found guilty of committing a Level One violation may appeal that finding to the circuit court. The commission of a violation must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(i) A person cited for violating the requirements of s. 379.354 relating to personal possession of a license or permit may not be convicted if, prior to or at the time of a county court hearing, the person produces the required license or permit for verification by the hearing officer or the court clerk. The license or permit must have been valid at the time the person was cited. The clerk or hearing officer may assess a $10 fee for costs under this paragraph.
(2)(a) LEVEL TWO VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level Two violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission relating to seasons or time periods for the taking of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
2. Rules or orders of the commission establishing bag, possession, or size limits or restricting methods of taking wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
3. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting access or otherwise relating to access to wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission.
4. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the feeding of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
5. Rules or orders of the commission relating to landing requirements for freshwater fish or saltwater fish.
6. Rules or orders of the commission relating to restricted hunting areas, critical wildlife areas, or bird sanctuaries.
7. Rules or orders of the commission relating to tagging requirements for wildlife and fur-bearing animals.
8. Rules or orders of the commission relating to the use of dogs for the taking of wildlife.
9. Rules or orders of the commission which are not otherwise classified.
10. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the unlawful use of finfish traps.
11. All prohibitions in this chapter which are not otherwise classified.
12. Section 379.33, prohibiting the violation of or noncompliance with commission rules.
13. Section 379.407(6), prohibiting the sale, purchase, harvest, or attempted harvest of any saltwater product with intent to sell.
14. Section 379.2421, prohibiting the obstruction of waterways with net gear.
15. Section 379.413, prohibiting the unlawful taking of bonefish.
16. Section 379.365(2)(a) and (b), prohibiting the possession or use of stone crab traps without trap tags and theft of trap contents or gear.
17. Section 379.366(4)(b), prohibiting the theft of blue crab trap contents or trap gear.
18. Section 379.3671(2)(c), prohibiting the possession or use of spiny lobster traps without trap tags or certificates and theft of trap contents or trap gear.
19. Section 379.357, prohibiting the possession of tarpon without purchasing a tarpon tag.
20. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the feeding or enticement of alligators or crocodiles.
21. Section 379.105, prohibiting the intentional harassment of hunters, fishers, or trappers.
(b)1. A person who commits a Level Two violation but who has not been convicted of a Level Two or higher violation within the past 3 years commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. Unless the stricter penalties in subparagraph 3. or subparagraph 4. apply, a person who commits a Level Two violation within 3 years after a previous conviction for a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $250.
3. Unless the stricter penalties in subparagraph 4. apply, a person who commits a Level Two violation within 5 years after two previous convictions for a Level Two or higher violation, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 1 year. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the suspension of the ability to exercise any privilege granted under any exemption in s. 379.353.
4. A person who commits a Level Two violation within 10 years after three previous convictions for a Level Two or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 3 years. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the suspension of the ability to exercise any privilege granted under s. 379.353. If the recreational license or permit being suspended was an annual license or permit, any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 3-year period following the date of the violation.
(3)(a) LEVEL THREE VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level Three violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the sale of saltwater fish.
2. Rules or orders of the commission prohibiting the illegal importation or possession of exotic marine plants or animals.
3. Section 379.407(2), establishing major violations.
4. Section 379.407(4), prohibiting the possession of certain finfish in excess of recreational daily bag limits.
5. Section 379.28, prohibiting the importation of freshwater fish.
6. Section 379.354(17), prohibiting the taking of game, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish while a required license is suspended or revoked.
7. Section 379.3014, prohibiting the illegal sale or possession of alligators.
8. Section 379.404(1), (3), and (6), prohibiting the illegal taking and possession of deer and wild turkey.
9. Section 379.406, prohibiting the possession and transportation of commercial quantities of freshwater game fish.
(b)1. A person who commits a Level Three violation but who has not been convicted of a Level Three or higher violation within the past 10 years commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
2. A person who commits a Level Three violation within 10 years after a previous conviction for a Level Three or higher violation commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for the remainder of the period for which the license or permit was issued up to 3 years. Such suspension shall include the suspension of the privilege to obtain such license or permit and the ability to exercise any privilege granted under s. 379.353. If the recreational license or permit being suspended was an annual license or permit, any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 3-year period following the date of the violation.
3. A person who commits a violation of s. 379.354(17) shall receive a mandatory fine of $1,000. Any privileges under ss. 379.353 and 379.354 may not be acquired for a 5-year period following the date of the violation.
(4)(a) LEVEL FOUR VIOLATIONS.A person commits a Level Four violation if he or she violates any of the following provisions:
1. Section 379.365(2)(c), prohibiting criminal activities relating to the taking of stone crabs.
2. Section 379.366(4)(c), prohibiting criminal activities relating to the taking and harvesting of blue crabs.
3. Section 379.367(4), prohibiting the willful molestation of spiny lobster gear.
4. Section 379.3671(2)(c)5., prohibiting the unlawful reproduction, possession, sale, trade, or barter of spiny lobster trap tags or certificates.
5. Section 379.354(16), prohibiting the making, forging, counterfeiting, or reproduction of a recreational license or possession of same without authorization from the commission.
6. Section 379.404(5), prohibiting the sale of illegally-taken deer or wild turkey.
7. Section 379.405, prohibiting the molestation or theft of freshwater fishing gear.
8. Section 379.409, prohibiting the unlawful killing, injuring, possessing, or capturing of alligators or other crocodilia or their eggs.
(b) A person who commits a Level Four violation commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) VIOLATIONS OF CHAPTER.Except as provided in this chapter:
(a) A person who commits a violation of any provision of this chapter commits, for the first offense, a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent violation of any provision of this chapter commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(6) SUSPENSION OR FORFEITURE OF LICENSE.The court may order the suspension or forfeiture of any license or permit issued under this chapter to a person who is found guilty of committing a violation of this chapter.
(7) CONVICTION DEFINED.As used in this section, the term “conviction” means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
History.s. 6, ch. 21945, 1943; s. 1, ch. 23750, 1947; s. 11, ch. 25035, 1949; s. 9, ch. 26766, 1951; s. 7, ch. 69-216; s. 316, ch. 71-136; s. 3, ch. 91-134; s. 586, ch. 95-148; s. 40, ch. 2000-362; s. 32, ch. 2002-46; s. 20, ch. 2006-304; s. 22, ch. 2007-223; s. 37, ch. 2008-111; s. 168, ch. 2008-247; s. 41, ch. 2009-86; s. 5, ch. 2010-185.
Note.Former s. 372.83.