Hunting is a popular activity over the country, especially in Florida, where the weather is beautiful and animals abound. Just like any sport, though, there are rules that need to be followed. When certain rules are not followed—such as hunting on private property without permission—criminal charges may apply.
A fire chief from Orlando is facing charges for hunting without authorization. The 46-year-old man, Danny Wilson, was linked to a group of people hunting with firearms and trespassing. The man was arrested on December 30, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was made aware of the incident on December 17. They came across an empty boat on Lake Florence.
The driver of the boat—a 22-year-old Tallahassee man—told authorities that he and others in the group had camped out on public property the night before and that they did not jump the fence. Authorities followed a trail and found shotgun shells and hunting blinds.
The fire chief and eight other people were seen inside a fenced-in cattle ranch in a photo posted on Instagram.The group had used a hunting app called onX Hunting to look for areas to hunt. The property owner, however, said nobody was allowed to hunt on the property.
Wilson reported his arrest to the Orlando Fire Department. He is now performing administrative duties while the incident is being investigated.
Wilson has faced disciplinary action before. Last summer, he was caught promoting a fishing business on YouTube while using a fire department vehicle. He was suspended without pay for 72 hours and was asked to take down the video, which he did.
Florida Trespassing Laws
Under Florida Statutes Section 810.08, a trespasser refers to someone who willing enters a structure or property without being invited or authorized to do so, is asked to leave and refuses to do so. This is a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
If a person is on the property or inside the structure at the time the trespassing occurs, the charge is elevated to a first degree misdemeanor, which could mean a fine of $1,000 and one year in jail.
When a person is caught trespassing and is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, the charge is elevated to a third degree felony. The punishment for this crime is a $5,000 fine, as well as five years in prison and another five years on probation. Considering that the fire chief was hunting on the property with firearms, he could potentially face felony charges.
Contact an Orlando Criminal Defense Attorney for Help
Property owners do not want people on their land without permission. When a person enters another person’s property without permission—especially for the purpose of hunting—he or she can face criminal charges.
Don’t handle your charges on your own. The aggressive Orlando criminal defense attorneys at Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can provide solid criminal defense for those accused of trespassing and other crimes.We are available 24/7 to assist you with your case. Contact us today at (407) 377-0150 to schedule a free consultation.