2nd Jan 2018
A South Florida criminal defense attorney defends individuals who are charged with all types of environmental crimes. These crimes pose severe consequences with potential years behind bars, large fines and a requirement to pay the state for any damage it causes. Some of the crimes that a South Florida criminal defense attorney may defend against include:
Florida law prohibits a person from causing pollution that can harm or injure other people or the welfare of the environment. This crime is punishable by a misdemeanor of the second degree conviction, which includes imprisonment up to 60 days in jail and a fine up to $5,000. This is a misdemeanor offense when the defendant commits it with gross negligence or reckless disregard. However, if the individual commits an offense with the intent to violate the law, he or she can be punished by a felony in the third degree conviction, which includes a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a fine up to $50,000.
Failure to Obtain a Permit
Another environmental crime that individuals are often charged with is the failure to obtain a permit required by Florida law or obtain a certification as required by Florida departments and agencies. This crime is charged as a misdemeanor, with a potential penalty of six months in jail and a fine of $10,000.
Failing to Report the Release of a Hazardous Substance
The owner or operator of a facility that is required to report the release of a hazardous substance and fails to comply with this requirement can be charged with this offense.
Making a False Statement
Knowingly making a false statement on any document regarding an environmental regulation can also rise to the criminal level, punishable as a first degree misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of six months in jail and $10,000.