Articles Posted in Fish and Wildlife Violations

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Florida will have 159 new laws starting Tuesday that address various issues, including college tuition, corporate tax credits, abortions and sex offenders.

One of the most prevalent laws is one that aims to protect children and others from dangerous sex offenders. The laws are intended to keep the most violent sexual offenders locked up longer and close any loopholes in a law that allows the state to send predators to a high-security treatment center once they have served their time in prison. The new laws will subject more offenders to potential civil commitment and prosecutors, detectives and victim advocates will be part of the committee that reviews their cases.

The sexually violent predator package of bills was among the first of the legislature sent to Gov. Rick Scott during the 60-day session that ended in May. The new laws are meant to create a better child welfare system in Florida. As of now, Florida is the only state in America that has a 50-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for violent sexual offenders.

gavelAnother law that seeks to protect children concerns the Department of Children and Families. The law changes how the department investigates and responds to cases; now placing a higher emphasis on shielding a child from abuse rather than focusing on keeping a family together. Moreover, the law also pays for 270 additional child protective investigators so that caseloads can be reduced and a response team can be sent out quickly to investigate child abuse deaths when the child had previous dealings with the system.

Another law will establish a statewide pilot program to pay for foster children’s driver’s education classes, license fees and car insurance so that they can be better prepared to gain employment when they turn 18 and leave the system.

The children of immigrants in the country illegally will now be able to receive in-state tuition at state universities after Scott changed his position on the issue. Another bill will give tuition breaks to honorably discharged veterans as well as waive professional licensing fees for them.

Local school boards now have the responsibility of selecting textbooks, whether or not they are on a state-adopted list, and will be required to put policies in place that allow parents to object to the books they choose.

Another new law took effect on June 20 that expands a voucher program, giving corporate tax credits to companies that provide money for low-income families to send their children to private schools.

As far as criminal laws go, there will be increased penalties for spiny lobster poachers, people leaving the scene of an accident that causes injury and people who illegally sell prescription drugs. Additionally, electronic cigarette sales to minors are now illegal in Florida. Another law forbids sending text messages soliciting products to residents on the state’s “no sales solicitation calls” list.

Florida has also changed its definition for its late-term abortion ban. Abortions will be illegal in Florida at any stage in a woman’s pregnancy if her doctor concludes that the fetus could survive outside the womb. The previous law banned abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. An exception can be made to this law if the mother’s life is at risk.

Lastly, new laws will create a Florida Tourism Hall of Fame and the position of state poet laureate to promote poetry in Florida.

Laws across the United States are constantly changing. When you have been accused of committing a crime in Florida, only a Florida Trial Lawyer at Whittel & Melton can provide you with the legal representation that you need. While many attorneys are quick to negotiate with prosecutors to obtain a plea bargain instead of pursuing trial, our Florida Criminal Attorneys know that sometimes trial is the best option for your situation. We thoroughly evaluate every case and will always advise you of your best legal defense strategy.

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Mark Morse, president and top executive of The Villages, a retirement community located in Central Florida, was charged with felony and misdemeanor hunting violations in Montana.

Morse as well as his wife, daughter and five other individuals have been accused of 18 wildlife violations during hunting trips spanning over the past four years on Morse property in Montana. A few of the charges include the illegal killing or possession of elk, deer and other wildlife.

Morse is charged with killing too many animals and killing them without proper licenses, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

For killing multiple animals and hunting out of season, which is considered stealing from the Montana government, Morse could face 21.5 years in prison and fines as much as $203,000 if convicted. Killing an animal without a license carries a punishment of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Wounding an animal without a license, if found guilty, carries a penalty of one year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Morse and his family could lose their fishing and hunting rights for life in Montana and more than 20 other states because of a multi-state agreement that outlaws hunters who disobey game laws. Florida just happens to be one of the partners to that agreement.

Many Florida residents incorporate hunting and fishing into their lifestyles. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission meets each year to make adjustments to statutes and once these changes are put into effect many people are arrested for violating the new laws. By keeping up to date on these specific statutes, you can avoid jail time and hefty fines.

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