Florida is a beautiful state with miles upon miles of pristine coastline, protected swamplands, and towering pine forests. In a state with such environmental beauty, environmental crimes such as littering and polluting are not taken lightly, and those who choose to disobey the laws pertaining to the environment confront harsh penalties for their crimes.
Individuals facing charges for environmental crimes should know there’s help available for their defense from Orlando environmental crimes lawyers. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the intricacies of environmental laws and can build a strong case in defense of the accused to help reduce their penalties.
If you’re facing charges for an environmental crime, the first thing you should do is contact a local attorney for a consultation.
State and federal courts hold the responsibility for prosecuting violators of environmental crimes. Florida in particular is home to the “Litter Law” which penalizes the illegal dumping of solid waste in any amount on any road, public highway, alley, or street. The legislation also extends to dumping in bodies of water including rivers, freshwater lakes, canals, and any other bodies of water. The solid waste referred to as “litter” in the statute includes, but is not limited to:
No matter what your intentions are, it’s essential that you acquire an attorney who can implement their legal knowledge on your behalf. The Florida environmental crime lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can provide strong legal representation for all charges.
Companies large and small are often the most susceptible to committing environmental crimes as industries like food service, vehicle repair, and many others require waste management services that can be costly. Unaware of the environmental statutes in place, companies often find themselves facing massive lawsuits after local, state or federal officials detect their illegal waste management tactics.
Although illegal solid waste dumping is a serious offense, it’s only one facet of environmental crimes. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) also prohibits the mishandling of hazardous materials and items (HAZMAT). HAZMAT are chemicals and substances classified as especially harmful to humans as well as the environment, and therefore require special precautionary measures when they’re being handled or disposed of.
The types of environmental crimes individuals and companies often face charges for include:
Entities caught doing any of the previous actions may face repercussions at the local, state, and federal level. The Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act are a few federal regulations under the EPA that warrant a federal case if they get violated.
In response to the growing effects of pollution, the federal government added the Office of Criminal Enforcement in 1982 under the EPA. Their sole responsibility is to prosecute environmental crime offenders, and they’ve been able to continuously do so since their inception.
Due to the growing considerations for environmental safety, prosecutors aggressively approach these cases — often times with the intention of presenting criminal charges. Environmental law violators may face the following:
Although jail time may the most daunting criminal penalty, it isn’t often the primary means of punishment by prosecutors. Their intentions are to place heavy fines on corporations and individuals to discourage them from committing the violation again. Federal, state, and local organizations often jointly enforce environmental laws, making it all the more vital for you to have a knowledgeable attorney representing you.
If you have committed an environmental crime, you should know that environmental agencies won’t hesitate to accuse you of state or federal violations. Therefore, waste no time in acquiring an equally aggressive attorney.
Recognized as one of Florida’s Legal Elite, the Florida environmental crime lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm can make you aware of the potential penalties in your case and present the most appropriate defenses. Known for their outstanding customer service, the Umansky Law Firm is one of the best in the business. With more than 35 years of experience, our attorneys have seen environmental cases of every kind and know how to build a knowledgeable defense.
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