Federal Violation Notices in Florida
In Florida, federal violation notices are issued by federal law enforcement officers to people who commit federal or state misdemeanors on federal property such as a military base, national park, national forest, or national monument.
In Central Florida, federal violation notices are most frequently issued to people who commit minor criminal offenses at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Orlando Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division, or Patrick Air Force Base.
Federal Violation Notices issued in Brevard and Orange Counties are prosecuted before a magistrate judge in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in Orlando, Florida.
Authority to Enforce Florida Laws
Under the Assimilative Crimes Act, the United States Attorney General can prosecute violations of Florida criminal law committed on federal property when the criminal offense is not covered by a corresponding federal law.
Penalties for Federal Violation Notices
Under federal law, only misdemeanors and petty offenses can be prosecuted pursuant to a federal violation notice.
A misdemeanor is any crime carries a maximum penalty of one year or less in jail and federal law divides misdemeanors into Class A, B, and C misdemeanors.
A petty offense carries a maximum penalty of six months in jail and encompasses Class B and C misdemeanors and civil infractions and carry fewer procedural protections than Class A misdemeanors.
Class A Misdemeanor
Class A misdemeanors are punishable by up to one (1) year in jail, five (5) years of probation, or $100,000 in fines.
Class B Misdemeanor
Class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six (6) months in jail, five (5) years of probation, or $5,000 in fines.
Class C Misdemeanor
Class C misdemeanors are punishable by up to sixty (60) days in jail, five (5) years of probation, or $5,000 in fines.
Federal infractions are punishable by up to five (5) days in jail, one (1) year of probation, or $5,000 fines.
Driver License Consequences
Depending on how a federal violation is resolved, the disposition may trigger driver license penalties applicable under Florida law.
For example, a DUI conviction will be reported to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) and the DUI conviction will trigger an administrative suspension of the person's Florida driver license.
Criminal History Consequences
Federal violation notices are processed and maintained by the U.S. Central Violations Bureau (CVP).
Because of how CVP maintains Federal Violation Notices, they will not appear on a state or federal criminal or traffic background check unless the U.S. Magistrate Court reports the final disposition to the Florida Crime Information Center (FCIC), the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), or Florida DHSMV.
Generally, the determination of whether a federal violation notice is reported to FCIC, NCIC, or Florida DHSMV depends upon the terms of the resolution reached with federal prosecutors.
If a non-reporting resolution is reached, the federal violation disposition is treated similarly to a traffic ticket, resulting in a small fine, and the disposition is not reported to FCIC, NCIC, or Florida DHSMV.
Because a non-reporting resolution does not result in a plea and a judgment is not entered by the court, a non-reporting disposition does not qualify as a conviction under state or federal law and a person can truthfully deny they were convicted of a criminal offense.
If a reporting resolution is reached or the federal violation notice proceeds to trial, the federal violation is disposed of as a criminal conviction and the disposition is reported to the FCIC, NCIC, and Florida DHSMV.
Because a reporting resolution results in a plea and an adjudication of guilt being entered by the court, a reporting disposition qualifies as a conviction under state and federal law and a person cannot deny they were convicted of a criminal offense.
Defenses to Federal Violation Notices
Federal Violation Notices can be defended with the same pretrial defenses and trial defenses that can be raised in any criminal case.
However, the best defense to a federal violation is usually to negotiate a non-reporting disposition that results in a small fine and avoids the entry of any criminal history on a person's record.
Contact Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer Richard Hornsby
The initial consultation is free and I am always available to advise you on the proper course of action that can be taken.