Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Code (title 30)

Pennsylvania's Fish and Boat Code (Title 30)

This article provides an overview of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code. Operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances and its related offenses are complex, and demand sperate attention (read BUI article).

 

Fish and Boat Violations: Grading & Penalties

 

Violations of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code are graded as special felony, misdemeanor, and summary offenses. In fact, the typical maximum penalties of crimes set forth in Title 18 of Pennsylvania’s Crimes Code are inapplicable to Tile 30.

 

Felony violations of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code

The most severe crimes within the Fish and Boat Code are graded as felonies of the second degree. In these cases, the penalty is a fine of not less than $5,000 nor more than $25,000, or imprisonment not exceeding ten years, or both.

Felonies of the third degree are punishable by a fine of not less than $2,500 nor exceeding $15,000, or imprisonment not exceeding seven years, or both.

Misdemeanor violations of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code

Misdemeanors of the first degree, are punishable by a fine of not less than $1,500 nor more than $10,000, or imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both.

Misdemeanors of the second degree, are punishable by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000, or imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both.

Misdemeanors of the third degree, are punishable by a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $5,000, or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days, or both.

Summary violations of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code

 A summary offense of the first degree is punishable by a fine of $250 or imprisonment not exceeding 90 days.

A Summary offense of the second degree is punishable by a fine of $150 or imprisonment not exceeding 20 days.

Summary offense of the third degree, a fine of $75.

Summary offense of the fourth degree, a fine of $25.

General Rules within the Fish and Boat Code

Additional Fines

Additionally, at least a $20 fine, but not more than $50 may be imposed for each fish taken, caught, killed, possessed or sold in violation of Title 30 or for each illegal device used by an angler while fishing.

Repeat Offenders

A person who is convicted of a second or subsequent (separate) violation of Title 30 within 12 months of the prior offense may be sentenced to the following additional fines:

-       $200 if all the offenses committed within the 12-month period were classified as summary offenses under this  title.

-       $1,000 if any of the offenses committed within the 12-month period were classified as misdemeanors of the third degree and none were classified as misdemeanors of the first or second degree or felonies

-       $2,500 if any of the offenses committed within the 12-month period were classified as misdemeanors of the first or second degree or felonies.

(Operating watercraft under influence of alcohol or controlled substance is exempt from this rule.)

Noteworthy Sections of Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat Code

30 Pa.C.S. § 2109 - Serious Unlawful Take

It is a misdemeanor of the second degree for any person to take, catch, kill, or possess:

(1)  During the closed season, fish having a replacement cost in excess of $500.

(2)  Three of more times the daily limit of fish.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 2110 – Taking or Possessing by Illegal Methods

It is unlawful to take, catch, kill or possess fish by any method not specifically authorized by law.

 

This offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree if the violation involves the taking of more than the daily limit of fish or if the violation is a second or subsequent offense.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 2507 – Sale of Certain Fish, reptiles and amphibians prohibited

 

It is illegal to purchase, sell, barter, or market any fish, amphibian, or reptile taken from Pennsylvania waters (or illegally taken from outside of Pennsylvania) except for species of fish that the Fish Commission makes eligible for sale.

This section does not pertain to individuals holding a commercial fishing license. Further, it does not pertain to mounted fish.

 

The penalty of this section is determined by the market value or sale price allegedly involved. If the value exceeds $5,000, the offense is a misdemeanor of the second degree. Offenses valued between $250 and $5000 are misdemeanors of the third degree. Offenses valued below $250 are graded as a summary offense of the first degree.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 2508 – Release of nonnative injurious fish

 

It is a misdemeanor of the third degree to transport, sell, offer for sale, or release nonnative injurious fish in Pennsylvania. 

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 5103 – Boating education

 

Any person born after January 1, 1982, must obtain a certificate of boating safety education to legally operate a motorboat in Pennsylvania.

 

There are certain exemptions to this rule concerning certain nonresidents, landowners, and motorboats 25 horsepower or less.  

 

It is a summary of the second degree to operate a motorboat without a certificate of boating safety education.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 5501 – Reckless and Negligent operation of watercraft

 

Reckless Operation of Watercraft is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

 

Negligent Operation of a Watercraft is a summary offense of the first degree.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 5502.2 – Homicide by watercraft

 

It is a misdemeanor of the first degree for any person to unintentionally cause the death of another person while engaged in the violation of any boating regulation.

 

This section does not apply to the offense of operating watercraft under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance because the penalty for that offense is more severe.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 5505 – Unauthorized operation of boats

 

It is a summary offense of the first degree for a person to operate the boat of another person without the owner’s consent.

 

30 Pa.C.S. § 5506 – Permitting Violations

 

It is a summary offense of the first degree for any person to authorize or knowingly permit a boat they own or control to be operated in violation of any boating law.

 

If the violation involves boating under the influence or homicide by watercraft, the person subject to this offense is also subject to suspension or denial of a boating license, permit, or registration.

Contact Lampman Law to Defend Title 30, Fish and Boat Charges

I have enjoyed fishing and boating throughout my life and I understand the value and importance of being able to participate in these wonderful recreational activities. I am eager to help you defend any charges relating to Pennsylvania’s Fish and Boat code. I am confident that I will help you resolve these charges in a positive manner. If you decide to hire me I will carefully listen to your side of the story, personally answer your calls, return calls promptly. As with every case I handle, I will conduct a full investigation, so I can properly advise you and defend your case. In sum, I will handle all aspects of your case with careful attention to every detail. 

Please contact me at 570-371-3737 if you have any questions. I would like to discuss your case with you and meet you in person. I offer a free consultation and can visit you upon your request. My fees are reasonable and payment plans (including credit card payment) can be arranged.

2 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701

reception@lampmanlaw.com  |   570-371-3737

Lampman Law practices criminal defense and civil rights in the Counties of: Bradford, Carbon, Clinton, Columbia, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Pike, Schuylkill, Snyder, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Union, Wayne, Wyoming. Lampman Law Office is located in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.

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