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Gag grouper possession in closed federal season

snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
If you are in possession of gag grouper in federal waters while federal season is close but while state season is open and you get pulled over by fwc in federal water can they write you a state violation when in fact the season is open in state waters and you are currently in federal waters? will there citation hold up in court? 

Replies

  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    Seems odd to me that they can write a state violation while you aren’t even in the state also if I were in the state a violation wouldn’t have occurred! 
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,342 Moderator
    FWC officers are cross designated as NOAA Enforcement and can write citations in Federal water and they will stand up in court
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 5,342 Moderator
    Where are you fishing where gags are closed in Federal water but open in State
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,452 Admiral
    When the season is closed in Federal waters you can not possess them there. You would be written a Federal Citation. FWC Officers are duel certified for that purpose.
  • watergatorwatergator Fort Pierce Posts: 195 Deckhand
    Go fish federal waters first and then catch your grouper on the way in. Thats how we did it in the panhandle for red snapper when they were closed federal and open state.
  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    edited June 2018 #7
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,892 Captain
    edited June 2018 #8
    Please post copy of "state citation"???????? I find that hard to believe.

    Now a NOVA (notice of violation assessment) from NOAA issued by a FWC officer is what I would guess. Heck some of the FWC offshore boats even have a NOAA logo on them as well as FFWCC markings.
  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    edited June 2018 #10
  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    No narrative on the citation otherwise just demographic information. 
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,892 Captain
    edited June 2018 #12
    Where does that say what you were specifically cited for and what your fine amount is?

    Did they give you a court date or send you a fine in the mail?

    And where would you be allowed to have 7 gags at anyway? ;)
  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    There were 4 of us. GPS coordinates are on the citation by my personal info. I was given court date. The officers made it sounds like they were helping us by giving a citation for state and not federal. They deliberated amongst themselves prior to citation being written. I requested be the only one fined as it was my boat and I should have known better but didn’t.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,892 Captain
    Well maybe they know the local judge will go easy on you or something. The NOAA assessment that would of been the normal thing for you to get, (or so I thought) would have been $425 according to their documents referenced here.


    I know over here on the East coast I wouldn't want to go to court with a ticket that said I personally harvested 7 gags and see what the judge said.

    Your story certainly is like no other I have heard yet, I knew they could enforce fed regs when out of their normal state waters, but never heard they gave state citations in lieu of ???????

    When it's over would be interested in how it pans out for you, good luck.

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,455 AG
    Well maybe they know the local judge will go easy on you or something. The NOAA assessment that would of been the normal thing for you to get, (or so I thought) would have been $425 according to their documents referenced here.


    I know over here on the East coast I wouldn't want to go to court with a ticket that said I personally harvested 7 gags and see what the judge said.

    Your story certainly is like no other I have heard yet, I knew they could enforce fed regs when out of their normal state waters, but never heard they gave state citations in lieu of ???????

    When it's over would be interested in how it pans out for you, good luck.

    They can, the NOVA would have been more $$.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    I truly think they were trying to do me a favor. I am active military and they knew that. No excuse for the infarction and I am not above the law.

    The Florida max penalty for this is $500 plus 60 days in jail....! Criminal charge. I heard that federal NOAA charge would have been civil and just cost money. Regardless the number is going to be in be thousands with attorneys court costs and whatever else comes up! Thank you for the info. I will let you know the outcome. It will be interesting.

    Never been in trouble with the law in my life so this has me on edge. My attorney has me pleading not guilty which seems odd to me because i DID possess the fish in federal waters as charged! Considering firing him and pleading no contest. A trial could end poorly and cost my 10x more money! I always believed attorneys want more money!! 
  • Westwall01Westwall01 Posts: 5,452 Admiral
    Seems like all your lawyer wants is money. In most jurisdictions the offer from the SAO for a first time offense is a small fine, but several jurisdictions will recommend short periods in jail along with fines, community service and probation nowadays if you take it to trial and lose.
  • WetBanditWetBandit Posts: 117 Deckhand
    edited June 2018 #18
    I truly think they were trying to do me a favor. I am active military and they knew that. No excuse for the infarction and I am not above the law.

    The Florida max penalty for this is $500 plus 60 days in jail....! Criminal charge. I heard that federal NOAA charge would have been civil and just cost money. Regardless the number is going to be in be thousands with attorneys court costs and whatever else comes up! Thank you for the info. I will let you know the outcome. It will be interesting.

    Never been in trouble with the law in my life so this has me on edge. My attorney has me pleading not guilty which seems odd to me because i DID possess the fish in federal waters as charged! Considering firing him and pleading no contest. A trial could end poorly and cost my 10x more money! I always believed attorneys want more money!! 

    Just my two cents but I wouldn't post my citation and a statement such as this online with a court date pending.  You can never be too careful. Also, I can say that generally speaking having a lawyer and pleading not guilty initially can get you a better plea deal or arbitration agreement than pleading no contest or going it alone.  Pleading not guilty keeps your options open whereas anything else would limit them.  I would think yall will meet with a prosecutor first to discuss a deal or at least discuss some strategy and options with your lawyer before you end up in a courtroom. 

    Best of luck.
  • WetBanditWetBandit Posts: 117 Deckhand
    edited June 2018 #19
  • snapper12345snapper12345 FloridaPosts: 9 Greenhorn
    edited June 2018 #20
    Pre trial intervention is the outcome. 3 months trouble free some fees plus attorney fees. Total $750 maybe a bit more if the attorney wants more. Then case dismissed. Never been in trouble in 33 years and don’t plan to have any future mishaps! 

    I encourage everyone to make sure you know the law inside and out. The stress and cost of a fine isn’t worth the fish which I would have given to friendship or family a anyhow!!! Thank you for all you’re recommendations and insight.
  • John McKroidJohn McKroid Posts: 3,597 Captain
    Go fish federal waters first and then catch your grouper on the way in. Thats how we did it in the panhandle for red snapper when they were closed federal and open state.
    If you did that and were stopped while fishing for grouper in state waters, you would be in possession of out of season Snapper in state waters, and would have a hard time proving that you caught them in Federal waters.  
  • mike923mike923 Posts: 272 Deckhand
    Go fish federal waters first and then catch your grouper on the way in. Thats how we did it in the panhandle for red snapper when they were closed federal and open state.
    If you did that and were stopped while fishing for grouper in state waters, you would be in possession of out of season Snapper in state waters, and would have a hard time proving that you caught them in Federal waters.  
    That is not what he said but if he did what he said and they looked at his GPS trails or had him on radar in federal waters he would be cited for harvesting red snapper out of season in federal waters.  If they are open in state waters then fish state waters and return to shore.  If they are only open in federal waters only fish federal waters and do not stop and fish state waters on the way out or back.  That is the only thing that is legal.  
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,295 Officer
    If you are in possession of gag grouper in federal waters while federal season is close but while state season is open and you get pulled over by fwc in federal water can they write you a state violation when in fact the season is open in state waters and you are currently in federal waters? will there citation hold up in court? 
    Yes, Its all about possession not where  you caught them. They wont write you a state ticket. They will write a federal ticket.
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