Illegal Dumping Lawyers in Orlando

florida littering

In Florida, there are laws that designate where you can and cannot dispose of trash and other waste materials. Businesses and residential neighborhoods alike have designated dumpsters and trash cans where disposing of trash is legal. Discarding waste in any area other than those, however, can result in one facing charges for illegal dumping. This is a charge that can result in potentially criminal consequences.

Unfortunately, many people do not realize the severity of dumping waste in non-designated areas, and simply dump their trash wherever it is convenient. When they do and are caught by the authorities, the first thing they should do is contact a trusted attorney who can assist them in building their defense and help to navigate their way through the legal process.

Types of Waste in Florida

To understand illegal dumping and littering laws in Florida, one must first understand what is considered waste and litter. The most basic explanation of litter is anything that is not natural to the environment where it’s being dumped. However, the law specifically outlines litter as:

“Any garbage; rubbish; trash; refuse; can; bottle; box; container; paper; tobacco product; tire; appliance; mechanical equipment or part; building or construction material; tool; machinery; wood; motor vehicle or motor vehicle part; vessel; aircraft; farm machinery or equipment; sludge from a waste treatment facility, water supply treatment plant, or air pollution control facility; or substance in any form resulting from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, or governmental operations.”

Whether you simply dispose of your personal waste or own a business that is responsible for ethical dumping of corporate waste, understanding the difference between littering and illegal dumping as well as the penalties they carry is vital.

Illegal Dumping vs. Littering

In Florida, all residents must abide by the Florida Litter Law, which prohibits the illegal dumping of solid waste on properties or in bodies of water. Violators of the Florida Litter Law face lengthy prison sentences and hefty fines. 

Although illegal dumping and littering both have to do with the improper disposal of waste, they do have a few distinct differences. The most ominous difference between the two is how they’re punished. While an individual can pick up a littering charge for tossing a water bottle out of a window, an illegal dumping charge is more likely to arise if a restaurant dumped their week’s worth of trash in an alley. Florida Statute 403.413(4) explains further.

The scope of illegal dumping is purposefully broad; however, all unlawful dumping cases will involve one of the following instances:

  • Discarding waste in sewers, waterways or on public or private property without a license or permit to do so
  • Allowing others to dump waste on one’s land without being licensed or permitted to do so

Those who are accused of illegal dumping should understand the severity of their charges and the penalties they will face if found guilty.

Florida Penalties for Illegal Dumping

All sentences for illegal dumping rest on the type of waste, amount of waste, whether a business or individual commits the crime, and whether the individual or entity is a repeat offender. Such facts also determine whether the offense is a misdemeanor or a felony. Common penalties for illegal dumping include:

  • Jail or prison time
  • Probation
  • Court-imposed fines
  • Community service
  • Remediation
  • Restitution

Penalties are specified under Florida Statute 403.413(6). Anyone from the individual allowing the illegal dumping on a property to a corporate executive who should have known of his company’s illicit waste management practices may face charges for illegal dumping. The Environmental Protection Agency prohibits illegal dumping and those charged will face stiff opposition. Best to prepare yourself for a favorable court ruling by acquiring the services of an experienced attorney.

Defenses for Illegal Dumping in Florida

No matter how insignificant you may believe your act was, you may face irreversible consequences as a result. We can help bring your case to the most favorable conclusion by presenting the most appropriate defense:

  • Justifiable reliance
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Invalid dumping regulations

Whatever the reason you were charged with illegal dumping, having a lawyer who understands how to acquire the right evidence to build your defense is of the utmost importance.

Knowledgeable Illegal Dumping Lawyers in Orlando, FL

The Orlando illegal dumping lawyers at The Umansky Law Firm understand that not everyone who improperly disposes of their trash is a criminal and our team of seasoned criminal defense lawyers have experience representing individuals who’ve found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

If you have found yourself on the wrong side of the law recently and need help with your defense, reach out to the lawyers at Umansky Law Firm right away. Attorney William D. Umansky is a member of the Orange County Bar Association and is highly active in the legal community. Our lawyers are former prosecutors who can bring a unique point of view to the table and can help you develop a solid defense to mitigate your criminal charges.  With more than 100 years of combined experience representing the accused, the lawyers at Umansky Law Firm are ready to help you today!. Contact us at 407-228-3838 for a free case evaluation from an attorney ready to fight relentlessly on your behalf.