Federal Offenses: Environmental Crimes – Part 1

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18th Jun 2024

An environmental crime is considered either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the crime, and could result in fines. Fines for these crimes can range from $2,000 to $6,000, part of which includes restitution fines payable to the City of Fort Lauderdale for investigative and clean-up costs. In addition, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department may confiscate any vehicle and/or trailer utilized for the crime.

Criminal Violations of Environmental Crimes

Criminal violations of the Department of Environmental Protection Rules under Florida Statute 403.161 are often called “environmental crimes.” In addition to the criminal penalties that can be imposed, anyone who commits a violation of Florida Statute Section 403.161(1) is liable to the state for any damage caused and for civil penalties as provided in s. 403.141.

Many of these cases are investigated by agents with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Division of Law Enforcement (DLE) or detectives with the Environmental Enforcement Unit of the Homeland Security Division of a local sheriff’s office, including the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

The Florida legislature intended that the civil penalties and criminal fines imposed by the court be of such amount as to ensure immediate and continued compliance with this section.

If you have been charged with environmental crimes in Miami, then you may want to call an experienced criminal defense attorney for legal advice.