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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title IX
ELECTORS AND ELECTIONS
Chapter 104
ELECTION CODE: VIOLATIONS; PENALTIES
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F.S. 104.271
104.271 False or malicious charges against, or false statements about, opposing candidates; penalty.
(1) Any candidate who, in a primary election or other election, willfully charges an opposing candidate participating in such election with a violation of any provision of this code, which charge is known by the candidate making such charge to be false or malicious, is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083 and, in addition, after conviction shall be disqualified to hold office.
(2) Any candidate who, in a primary election or other election, with actual malice makes or causes to be made any statement about an opposing candidate which is false is guilty of a violation of this code. An aggrieved candidate may file a complaint with the Florida Elections Commission pursuant to s. 106.25. The commission shall adopt rules to provide an expedited hearing of complaints filed under this subsection. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commission shall assess a civil penalty of up to $5,000 against any candidate found in violation of this subsection, which shall be deposited to the account of the General Revenue Fund of the state.
History.s. 44, ch. 28156, 1953; s. 48, ch. 71-136; s. 27, ch. 77-104; s. 35, ch. 77-175; s. 1, ch. 85-210; s. 627, ch. 95-147; s. 44, ch. 97-13.