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The Florida Statutes

The 2017 Florida Statutes

Title XXVIII
NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE
Chapter 379
FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
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F.S. 379.412
379.412 Penalties for feeding wildlife and freshwater fish.
(1)(a) The penalties in this section apply to a violation of any rule or order of the commission that prohibits or restricts:
1. Feeding wildlife or freshwater fish with food or garbage;
2. Attracting or enticing wildlife or freshwater fish with food or garbage; or
3. Allowing the placement of food or garbage in a manner that attracts or entices wildlife or freshwater fish.
(b) This section does not apply to rules or orders of the commission relating to:
1. Animals held in captivity;
2. Restricting the taking or hunting of species over bait or intentionally placed or deposited food; or
3. Restricting the taking or hunting of species in proximity to feeding stations.
(2) A person who violates a prohibition or restriction identified in subsection (1):
(a) For a first violation, commits a noncriminal infraction, punishable by a civil penalty of $100.
1. A person cited for a violation under this paragraph 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.
2. A person cited for a 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 is deemed to have admitted committing the 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.
3. A person who refuses to accept a citation, who fails to pay the civil penalty for a 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.
4. A person who elects to appear before the county court or who is required to appear before the county court is deemed to have waived the limitations on civil penalties provided under this paragraph. After a hearing, the county court shall determine if a violation has been committed, and if so, may impose a civil penalty of not less than $100. A person found guilty of committing a violation may appeal that finding to the circuit court. The commission of a violation must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.
(b) For second and subsequent violations, when all violations are related to freshwater fish or wildlife other than bears or alligators or other crocodilians, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(c) For a second violation, when all violations are related to bears or alligators or other crocodilians, commits a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(d) For a third violation, when all violations are related to bears or alligators or other crocodilians, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(e) For a fourth or subsequent violation, when all violations are related to bears or alligators or other crocodilians, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(3) As used in this section, the term “violation” means any judicial disposition other than acquittal or dismissal.
History.s. 12, ch. 2015-161.