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FWC Level Two Violations

FWC Level 2 Violations are criminal misdemeanors relating to rules/regulations on Florida hunting, fishing, trapping, environmental disruption/damage and improper actions pertaining to FWC licenses and permits. 

As a Broward defense attorney, I represent residents, visitors, and business owners facing criminal penalties for Level Two FWC violations. 

Some assume the easiest course of action is simply to admit wrongdoing, pay the fine, and move on with their lives. Why hire a lawyer? 

For one thing, we’re talking about your permanent criminal record. There’s the possibility of jail times, hefty fines, and revocations of hunting and fishing privileges. 

First-time FWC level 2 violations are second-degree misdemeanors. As such, they carry up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines - more if it’s your second or subsequent offense. FWC also has the authority to impose up to $10,000 in additional fines (depending on the impact of your actions and the agency’s expense output in mitigating the damage). They can also suspend or revoke any relevant permits or licenses. 

You have the right to defend yourself in court - and at the very least, lessen the impact this ordeal is going to have on your life. Our Broward FWC violations defense lawyers can help. 

What Are FWC Level Two Violations?

FWC Level 2 violations are outlined in two statutes. The first is F.S. 379.401. Starting in Section 2, the following offenses are classified as Level 2:

  • Taking wildlife or fish (freshwater and saltwater) either out of season or at an improper time.
  • Unlawful access to wildlife management areas.
  • Unlawful feeding saltwater fish.
  • Landing requirements for freshwater or saltwater fish. 
  • Entering restricted hunting areas, critical wildlife areas, or hunting areas. 
  • Violating tagging requirements for wildlife or fur-bearing animals. 
  • Unlawfully using dogs for taking wildlife.
  • Unlawful use of traps.
  • Failure to maintain records relating to alligators. 
  • Failure to return unused CITES tags.
  • Intentionally harassing hunters, fishers, or trappers, per F.S. 370.105.
  • Improper fishers and equipment, per F.S. 379.2421.
  • Unlawful spearfishing, per F.S. 379.2425.
  • Contaminating fresh waters, per F.S. 379.29.
  • Using explosives and other substances of force in fresh waters, per F.S. 379.295.
  • Unlawfully loaning or transferring a license or permit and the use of a borrowed or transferred license or permit, per F.S. 379.3502.
  • Making false statements or entering false information in applying for a license or permit, per F.S. 379.503 and F.S. 379.504.
  • Unlawful sale of subagent hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and permits, per F.S. 379.3511.
  • Unlawfully taking, killing, or possessing a tarpon without buying a tarpon tag, per F.S. 379.357(3).
  • Not following rules for freshwater fish dealer licenses, per F.S. 379.363.
  • Not following rules for fur and hide dealer licenses, per F.S. 379.364.
  • Stealing trap contents or trap gear of stone crab, blue crab, or spiny lobsters, as outlined in F.S. 379.365 and F.S. 379.366 and F.S. 379.367.
  • Not obtaining the proper licenses for taking and possessing alligators, per F.S. 379.3751, and tagging requirements for alligators and hides, per F.S. 379.3752.
  • Unlawful taking of bonefish, per F.S. 379.413.

Other Level 2 FWC offenses (specifically those regarding non-native and captive wildlife) are outlined in F.S. 379.4015. These include wrongdoing related to:

  • Paying a fee for a permit to possess captive wildlife requiring maintenance of records relating to captive wildlife.
  • Housing of wildlife in an unsafe manner when a violation results in the escape of wildlife (other than Class I wildlife or venomous reptiles). 
  • Wild animal life identified by FWC as conditional or prohibited species.
  • Capturing, keeping, possessing, transporting, or exhibiting reptiles that are venomous, of concern, condition, or prohibited, per F.S. 379.372. Also failure to obtain a license/permit for the above (F.S. 379.373), bonding requirements for public exhibitions of venomous reptiles (F.S. 379.374), and rules relating to the escape of reptiles that are venomous or reptiles of concern (F.S. 379.305).
  • Violations of rules and regulations concerning the exhibition, sale, or personal possession of wildlife (F.S. 379.304, F.S. 379.3761, and F.S. 379.3762).

Most laws against harassing marine life, such as manatees, dolphins, or sea turtles, are charged as Level II offenses, second-degree misdemeanor. 

First-time offenders of Level II violations face a second-degree misdemeanor, with 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. 

For a second offense within 3 years, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine (unless otherwise indicated). 

For a third offense within 5 years, it’s a 1st degree misdemeanor (12 months in jail + $1,000 fine - minimum mandatory $500 fine) and suspension of any FWC recreational license or permit for 1 year.

For a fourth offense in 10 years, it’s a first degree misdemeanor (12 months in jail + $1,000 fine - minimum mandatory $750 fine) and suspension of any FWC recreational license or permit for 3 years.

The reward for reporting someone on an FWC Level II violation (leading to a citation and/or arrest) is $300. The most commonly reported Level II violations are unlawfully taking small game or saltwater finfish, shellfish, or crustaceans, feeding or enticing alligators or crocodiles, molesting endangered or threatened species, taking protected wildlife, possessing captive wildlife without a permit, boating under the influence, or misdemeanor violations of Florida’s litter law, F.S. 403.413.

By working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Broward County, you’re protecting your rights, your freedom, your wallet, your reputation, and your recreational privileges to continue enjoying the great outdoors in Florida. 

If you have been arrested in South Florida for an FWC violation, call The Ansara Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale today for your free initial consultation at (954) 761-4011. Serving Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade.

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