On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Florida is known for its abundance of unique wildlife. With creatures like alligators, snakes, manatees and other unique species people all across Florida are often left in awe. Sometimes, people just can’t get enough of this wildlife and decide to make them their pets. However, people should be cautioned because many of these species are protected and are not allowed as personal pets without the proper licenses and permits. Owning these wild animals without proper permission can lead to misdemeanor charges.
A year ago, a Florida homeowner discovered that a three-foot long alligator was living in the backyard hot tub when he moved into his house. According to authorities, the man decided to keep the pet and started feeding it chicken.
Recently, police served an unrelated narcotics warrant at the house and discovered the creature living in a small pool of water inside the hot tub. Once the authorities discovered the animal, they called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to determine if the man had the proper permits for the alligator. Police say that he did not have the permit and he was arrested and booked into the local county jail. He was charged with misdemeanor alligator possession. Eventually, he was released on a $500 bond.
While this may be an unusual misdemeanor charge, it should still be taken seriously. All misdemeanors have the potential to create major disruptions in a person’s life. No matter if the misdemeanor is for alligator possession, shoplifting or a traffic violation, people can still be sentenced to jail time, large fines, community service and other punishments. Therefore, all misdemeanor charges should be given the appropriate attention.
The Smoking Gun, “Florida Man Arrested After Cops Discover Alligator Living In Backyard Hot Tub,” Oct. 16, 2013