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Anyone who drives on Florida highways has probably seen numerous posted signs describing the punishments for littering. These highway signs are part of the Florida Litter Law and typically state that an offender may face a fine of $100 dollars for a violation. However, the signs do not tell the full story, as the penalties for violating the Florida Litter Law can in some cases result in felony criminal charges. These charges could result in jail time, hefty fines and the possibility of a permanent criminal conviction if not handled properly. If you, a coworker or family member have been charged with criminal littering Benjamin Herbst is available 7 days a week to provide a free consultation about your case. Benjamin is a South Florida criminal defense lawyer who specializes in littering cases in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County. He has successfully handled numerous large-scale commercial littering charges, and also represents defendants charged with non-commercial dumping. Benjamin is available by phone anytime at (954) 543-0305, or at his office locations in Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach. Benjamin is also willing to meet at a convenient location anywhere from Miami to Port St. Lucie for his Treasure Coast clients.
Anyone accused of dumping between 15 and 500 pounds of trash for non-commercial purposes faces the possibility of being charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for littering, which carries up to 1 year in jail and the possibility of mandatory community service. If a vehicle was used to assist in the dumping of trash the defendant faces the imposition of 3 points on his or her driving record regardless of whether adjudication was withheld. Non-commercial littering is fairly common in Florida, but few defendants know they can actually face criminal charges. This creates a rude awakening when officers arrive on scene, and in some cases actually perform an arrest. There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to littering charges and many are simply the result of a brief lapse in judgment or a miscommunication between two people. Whether it’s unwanted furniture, appliances or construction materials, Benjamin understands that defendants charged with littering rarely have the criminal intent that warrants being dragged through the justice system, and he fights to have his client’s cases dropped prior to trial. Anyone charged with misdemeanor littering in South Florida can contact attorney Benjamin Herbst to find out how he can have the charges dropped or reduced to a civil infraction.
Any type of dumping that is done for economic gain is considered commercial littering under Florida law, and can lead to felony charges. The amount of trash or materials dumped by the defendant may be a factor in court, but felony charges are authorized under the law for even the smallest amount of commercial littering. Police officers will often assume that a person caught dumping is doing it for economic gain regardless of whether they see a commercial vehicle in the area. Being charged with a felony for dumping even a small amount of trash or materials may come as a shock to defendants, but Benjamin is standing by to help fight back. Benjamin is a South Florida commercial littering lawyer who has years of experience taking on the state and local governments in dumping cases, and is standing by to offer a free consultation in your case. Commercial littering charges carry up to five years in prison, community service and the possibility of a permanent felony conviction. If a vehicle, vessel or other machine was used during the course of the offense the government may declare it as contraband, and confiscate it under the applicable forfeiture laws. A defendant who is charged with littering may also face trespass or even burglary charges for entering the property of another person without permission. The stakes are extremely high for anyone charged with commercial littering in Florida, which makes it imperative to retain a skilled and experienced lawyer.
Felony littering charges may also be brought against a defendant who is accused of dumping more than 500 pounds of trash or materials regardless of whether it is done for commercial purposes. This type of charge is not as common as commercial littering, due to the difficulty of hauling 500 pounds without a commercial vehicle, but we have seen individuals charged when using a personal pickup truck or other large vehicle. Other provisions of the Florida Littering Law include a second-degree misdemeanor charge for dumping raw human waste for non-commercial purposes. Dumping more than 500 pounds of raw human waste, like any other material, is a third-degree felony regardless of whether it was done for commercial purposes. For any further questions about the Florida littering laws contact criminal defense attorney Benjamin Herbst.