Florida is blessed with an abundance of marine life. The spiny lobster – in particular – is a favorite of locals as well as visitors. It is why the lobster season – which starts on the 6th of August and ends on the 31st of March every year – has become a ritual of sorts for lobster enthusiasts in Florida as well as other parts of the country.
If you are in the mood for lobster hunting, it is important to be aware of the rules and regulations you have to comply with. Otherwise, what started out as a fun and adventurous day on the water might turn into a nightmare!
Given below is a list of do’s and don’ts – from an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer.
- Get your license and permit www.myfwc.com or from a dive store or tackle shop in the area.
- Make sure you have all the equipment you need – including a measuring device (for measuring lobsters) and a dive flag.
- If you are a first-timer, hire a guide or spotter who can show you the right spots for catching lobsters.
- Be aware of the no-go zones, where lobster harvesting is prohibited by law. These include the coral reef protection areas in Biscayne National Park, the National Marine Sanctuary in Florida Keys, and the Biscayne Bay Lobster Sanctuary.
- Do not catch lobsters whose carapace is shorter than three inches.
- Do not catch more than six lobsters per day.
- Do not use a spear gun or any other device that might puncture or break the lobster’s exoskeleton or flesh.
- Do not separate the lobster’s tail from its body while you are on water.
- Do not engage in recreational trapping. Similarly, do not take lobsters from commercial traps. As any Florida criminal defense lawyer can tell you, violating the trapping rule can result in a felony charge with stiff penalties.
- Do not catch pregnant lobsters.
What to Do If You Have Violated State Laws on Lobster Harvesting
First and foremost, do not say anything to the officer – other than your name and address. While Fish and Wildlife Conservation officers might seem friendlier than police officers, they are still law enforcement officers. So, anything you blurt out can and most probably will be used against you.
Give them the basic information – your name, your address, and whether or not you have a permit for lobster harvesting. Tell them that you need to contact a Florida criminal defense lawyer right away and you can answer their questions only in the lawyer’s presence.
Remember – lobster violations are taken extremely seriously in Florida. If convicted, you might not only have to pay hundreds of dollars in fine, but could also face jail time. So, it’s crucial for you to be represented by a capable and experienced criminal defense attorney.
Are You Facing Charges for Lobster Violations? Skilled Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Piotrowski Can Help You
Attorney Chad Piotrowski has extensive knowledge of state as well as federal laws on lobster harvesting and can defend you aggressively against misdemeanor as well as felony charges. He can anticipate the prosecution’s strategies, devise the right counter-strategies, and get results that many of his peers cannot.
If you are facing lobster violation charges in Florida, call us today at (305) 204-5000 or contact us online and schedule a free consultation with Florida criminal defense lawyer Chad Piotrowski.