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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110600
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My name is ***** ***** out of Hobe Sound. I was fishing last

Customer Question

Hi my name is ***** ***** out of Hobe Sound. I was fishing last weekend off shore and when we came in the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation stoped us. They checked out our boat which was fine then they checked out the fish we caught. They found one fish a grouper which they said was out of season. They wern't really sure of the fish and had to look at many pictures. We were sure it was a snowy white grouper which is in season, but they keep the fish and wrote a citation on me where I have to go the court May 26. On the citation it says Date of Arrest>> was not arrested. It also says the the evidence was destroyed. My question is can I plead Not Guilty and have a chance of winning the case.
Also I'm 73 years old and missing a leg above the knee although I can walk pretty good. The officer also told us the the season for the fish he though we got opens l in a couple of hours.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Yes, you can plead not guilty and if they had a difficult time identifying the fish you have a good chance of winning. They would have to testify beyond a reasonable doubt it was the out of season grouper and you would present your evidence that it was a snowy grouper which was not out of season. You do not have to prove for certain it was a snowy grouper, you only have to prove that it was reasonable a person looking at the fish could think it was a snowy grouper to be found not guilty. The fact they had to look up numerous pictures to try to identify the fish makes it more in your favor in raising the issue that you believed the fish to be the snowy grouper.
Furthermore, if you were only a couple of hours out of season, most judges and prosecutors do not like dealing with these types of cases so you have a really good chance of the prosecutor or judge dismissing the case outright.

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