Boating in Florida

Within the past two years, data shows over 950,000 registered boats (or vessels) in the state of Florida. If you are a boat owner or operate a boat within the state of Florida, there are several state laws, rules, and regulations to be aware of in order to ensure safety on the waters and avoid any boating violations.

In many situations, boating is something people do to relax, unwind, and enjoy the outdoors. Oftentimes, alcohol and boating activities mix. For some, this mix results in a life-changing criminal charge for boating under the influence (“BUI”).

A BUI occurs when either a person operates a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, a chemical substance, or a controlled substance to the extent their normal faculties were impaired, or a person had blood or breath-alcohol level of .08% or higher.

If you find yourself needing assistance with a boating violation or BUI, you have come to the right place. Call Attorney Sando to see how we can help you.

Governing Authority for Boating in Florida

Chapters 327 and 328 of the Florida Statutes contain laws relevant to vessels including BUI. Typically, the local Sheriff’s Office, in addition to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”), conducts the enforcement of Statutes, rules, and laws put in place to ensure legal compliance over Florida’s boating activities.

Similar to a traffic stop, law enforcement typically needs a reason to stop a vessel and can only detain it for a reasonable period of time; however, there are exceptions. For example, many people do not realize that without a visible safety inspection decal, law enforcement is permitted to board a vessel to enforce statutory vessel safety laws without the prerequisite of a violation first being committed.

Reasons like the above is why it is best to hire an experienced attorney well-versed in defending boating violations in the State of Florida.

Challenging a Boating Violation or BUI arrest

Other criminal violations such as BUI may result in criminal convictions and are far more serious. Retaining an experienced criminal lawyer like Attorney Sando will allow your case to be properly analyzed to determine any legal arguments to raise. Attorney Sando prepares his cases as if they will go to trial because the smallest detail or fact can alter the outcome of a case, especially when it comes to field sobriety exercises that an office uses to develop probable cause to justify a BUI arrest.

What do I do after receiving a boating violation or BUI?

Generally, most boating violations result in noncriminal tickets. If you receive a boating violation by the local Sheriff’s office or the FWC, call Sando Law, P.A. to see how we can help you. Take any noncriminal ticket seriously as enhanced penalties can apply to future violations.

DON’T JUST PAY THE TICKET – CALL US FIRST!

Paying the civil penalty waives your right to a hearing before the county court to make any legal arguments or challenges in your case.

Attorney Sando may be able to have your charges dismissed, lessened, or negotiate a better resolution than the default penalties that may apply.

Other criminal violations such as BUI may result in criminal convictions and are far more serious. Retaining an experienced criminal attorney like Attorney Sando will allow your case to be properly analyzed to determine legal arguments to raise especially when it comes to field sobriety exercises that an officer uses to develop probable cause to justify a BUI arrest. Attorney Sando prepares every case as if it will go to trial because the smallest detail or fact can alter the outcome of a case.

As a former special prosecutor for Florida fish and wildlife cases and the recipient of both the FWC’s Prosecutor of the Year Award and the North Palm Coastal Conservation Association’s Prosecutor of the Year Award, Attorney Sando has experience and knowledge that could mean the difference in your case and your future.

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