Much like how a state or local police officer might write someone a ticket for committing a traffic offense or minor misdemeanor on Florida state property, federal authorities may issue violation notices to people who commit similar offenses on federal land. Anyone who commits a misdemeanor offense or infraction within a U.S. National Park, at a post office, or—most commonly—on a military base may end up receiving one of these notices.
It is crucial to be able to handle federal violation notices in Orlando in a way that protects your best interests and minimizes repercussions. If you have questions about a federal violation notice you received recently or would like to explore your options for contesting the charge(s) against you, speaking with a seasoned federal criminal defense attorney should be your top priority.
Federal law defines four classes of offenses that may be handled through a violation offense as opposed to arrest and pre-trial incarceration. The least severe of these is an “infraction,” for which maximum penalties could include a maximum $5,000 fine, probation for one year, and no more than five days in jail. The other three types of offenses covered by violation notices are all misdemeanors, all of which are punishable by five years’ probation.
Additionally, Class C and Class B misdemeanors that are addressed through federal violation notices in Orlando may be punished with maximum fines of $5,000 like infractions, but the respective maximum jail terms would be 60 days for Class C offenses and six months for Class B offenses. Class A misdemeanors can allow for up to a year of jail time as well as maximum fines up to $100,000.
Notably, some offenses defined under Florida state law may be prosecuted federally in accordance with the Assimilative Crimes Act, which allows this kind of proceeding to go forward if someone on federal land commits a misdemeanor defined as such under Florida law but not under federal law. This commonly occurs with offenses like DUI, assault and battery, and shoplifting committed on military installations like Orlando Naval Air Warfare Center Training System Division, Patrick Air Force Base, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
Much like with traffic tickets, someone who pays the fine listed on a federal violation notice in Orlando waives their right to formally contest the charge(s) against them. Some such notices indicate explicitly that appearance in federal court is mandatory. Contesting these kinds of notices can make a huge difference in a defendant’s future.
It may be possible to reach a non-reporting resolution with help from legal counsel, which essentially means the violation will be resolved through a fine, not proceed to court. This does not count as a criminal violation. In other situations, it may be prudent to proceed with an in-person trial before a U.S. Magistrate Judge or, if requested by someone facing a Class A misdemeanor charge, a District Court Judge.
While infractions and misdemeanors will not see as big of a punishment as federal felony charge, getting a federal violation notice is still a serious matter that could have lasting consequences for you. On top of the immediate sanctions you might face upon pleading or being adjudicated guilty, having a criminal record could significantly impact your military career and other occupational options outside of service.
Guidance from experienced legal representation can be key to resolving federal violation notices in Orlando as quickly and effectively as possible. Call the Umansky Law Firm today to get started.
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