Illegal Killing or Possession of Alligators in Orlando

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) violations involve unique procedures that can differ significantly from a regular criminal case. While violations can lead to serious penalties, including fines and jail time, various details of the alleged offense can result in more extreme consequences and even multiple criminal charges, if convicted.

FWC violations are separated into levels or categories that carry differing penalties. In addition to the type of offense you are accused of and its level, if you are guilty of a previous FWC violation, you could face even harsher legal consequences.

Illegal killing or possession of alligators in Orlando is a Level Four violation and can expose you to the most severe charges leveled by the FWC. An experienced fish and wildlife crimes attorney could evaluate your case, construct the strongest possible defense, and work toward achieving a favorable outcome.

Legal Ramifications for Killing or Possession of Alligators 

The regulations set forth by the FWC are designed to safeguard the environment, fish, and wildlife, and protect endangered or threatened species. These rules also govern procedures such as securing a boating license or any other recreational license.

FWC has its own network of officers who enforce its laws, investigate potential violations, and issue citations for related offenses. In some cases, FWC law enforcement officers can make arrests for violations. While some FWC violations amount to an infraction, others can qualify as misdemeanors or even felonies. Possessing or killing alligators without permission is not only a Level Four violation — a category reserved for the most serious FWC violations —but also a felony crime in Orlando.

If you are charged with the illegal killing or possession of a gator, the crime is a third-degree felony, which can lead to up to five years of incarceration, plus financial penalties that can range as high as $5,000.

Civil and criminal penalties can apply to FWC convictions. In addition to jail time and fines, you could also lose certain licenses, be required to perform community service, and go through a period of probation. Any equipment that was used to carry out the alleged offense may be confiscated. You could also have to contend with the long-term consequences of having a criminal record if convicted of this Level Four violation.

Hiring an Attorney for FWC Level Four Violations 

The charging and enforcement of Level Four FWC violations can differ significantly from other criminal charges. These cases feature unique challenges that an attorney who defends clients with FWC violations could help you navigate as seamlessly as possible.

There may be multiple defense strategies available in your case. An attorney could work to protect your rights while evaluating all possibilities to challenge the charges against you. For example, lack of evidence may be a plausible defense to this third-degree felony charge. If you were acting in self-defense and did not set out to possess or kill the alligator, these factors could also be used to mitigate your charge. Constitutional rights violations or other procedural issues may sometimes be instrumental in getting certain evidence excluded.

Delaying action could not only mean heavy fines, but a warrant for your arrest and even jail time. An Orlando attorney could speak with witnesses, gather evidence, and construct the most effective defense against a charge for the unpermitted killing or possession of a gator.

Get Help if You are Charged with Killing or Possessing an Alligator Illegally in Orlando  

If you have been issued a Level Four violation for illegal possession or killing of alligators in Orlando, you need an attorney with the knowledge, experience, and foresight to manage all elements of your case. An environmental crimes attorney could represent you at court appearances and ensure nothing is overlooked in your case.

We could negotiate with the prosecutor for a potential plea deal or work to get the charge dismissed entirely. Do not wait to hire an attorney who could represent your interests and create a comprehensive defense for you. Contact our office today to receive your free and confidential case review.

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