Our client went off-shore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and caught a load of legal fish. Our client’s girlfriend lives on the water near Coquina Key and our client went to her condo and fileted his catch on the dock. After spending time with his girlfriend, he took his boat and his catch by boat back to the Maximo Park Marina. When he arrived, FWC did a safety check of his vessel and my client informed the officer he had fileted fish on board. This is technically against the law, and my client was cited for a misdemeanor.
My client has no prior record and holds a good job so avoiding a conviction was important to him. Given my experience as a prosecutor who handled fish & wildlife cases, I knew exactly what to do to maximize our client’s chances for success.
I contacted the prosecutor and given the mitigating circumstances and my client’s lack of prior record, the prosecutor agreed to reduce the case to a civil infraction which only carried a $50.00 fine. My client never had to appear in court and was happy to avoid a misdemeanor charge and the accompanying $500.00 fine.