Miami Federal Environmental Crime Attorney
For many years, I have represented persons charged with violations of federal law relating to environmental crimes. These crimes are taken very seriously by federal prosecutors in Washington, working out of the Department of Justice, and in local federal prosecutors’ offices located throughout the country. Often, the Environmental Protection Agency has investigated alleged violations prior to the matter being referred to federal prosecutors. The Department of Justice has special prosecutors working in an environmental crimes unit to handle most of these cases. These prosecutors have specialized training and expertise in prosecuting these matters.
There are many federal regulatory statutes involving water, air and energy, violations of which may lead to federal prosecutions. Moreover, prosecutions for violations of environmental crimes are not limited to charges involving violations of government regulations. For example, giving false statements to a federal agent may be prosecuted along with the environmental crime. It is not at all uncommon to see conspiracy counts along with environmental crimes being charged, along with mail fraud and wire fraud. Contact our Miami federal environmental crime attorneys for more information.
There are so many environmental regulations and crimes that it is impossible to cover them in this brief post on my federal website. However, a few examples will be helpful.
An act known as the Refuse Act prohibits improper discharge into navigable or tributary waters in the United States. There are criminal penalties for a conviction. It is very easy for criminal charges to be “stacked.” In other words, each violation or each illegal dumping or discharge can result in separate charges.
The government’s goal is to prevent pollution of our waterways. There are prosecutions under the Clean Water Act and for harming endangered species of plants and animals. It is not uncommon for state agents or local police to work with federal authorities in order to bring charges against an individual and/or companies.
Many of the so-called environmental crimes are what are known as “strict liability crimes.” In other words, doing the illegal act is sufficient for conviction, regardless of the intent of the actor.
Of course, there are solid defenses which, depending on the facts and circumstances in an individual case, may qualify and lead to complete exoneration of the person under suspicion. A good and experienced federal criminal defense lawyer, knowledgeable in defending people charged with these types of crimes – if retained early enough – may well be able to convince the federal prosecutors not to bring charges against his or her client. The earlier you retain a competent and experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better your chances are to avoid being charged. And even if you are charged, having the right lawyer can make all of the difference in the outcome of your case. Our Miami environmental crimes attorneys can help.
For over forty years, I have represented corporations and individuals charged with environmental crimes. If you are being investigated for an environmental crime or if you have already been charged, I strongly advise you not to make any statements to law enforcement and to immediately seek counsel from the best federal criminal defense lawyer you can afford. Ideally, that lawyer will be Board Certified.