Florida Special Maritime Criminal Jurisdiction
West’s F.S.A. § 910.006
910.006. State special maritime criminal jurisdiction
(1) Legislative findings and intent.–
(a) The State of Florida is a major center for international travel and trade by sea.
(b) The state has an interest in ensuring the protection of persons traveling to or from Florida by sea.
(c) The state has an interest in cooperating with the masters of ships and the governments of the United States and the other states in the maintenance of law and order on board ship.
(d) The interests of the state do not in principle require a general assertion of primary jurisdiction over acts or omissions at sea that would duplicate or conflict with the execution of any law enforcement responsibility of any other jurisdiction.
(e) The State of Florida should establish special maritime criminal jurisdiction extending to acts or omissions on board ships outside of the state under the circumstances delimited in this section.
(2) Definitions.– As used in this section:
(a) “Flag state” means the state under whose laws a ship is registered.
(b) “Ship” means any watercraft or other contrivance used, capable of being used, or intended to be used as a means of transportation on water, and all phases of construction of such watercraft or contrivance.
(c) “State” means any foreign state, the United States or any state, territory, possession, or commonwealth thereof, or the District of Columbia.
(3) Special maritime criminal jurisdiction.– The special maritime criminal jurisdiction of the state extends to acts or omissions on board a ship outside of the state under any of the following circumstances:
(a) There is a suspect on board the ship who is a citizen or resident of this state or a state which consents to the jurisdiction of this state.
(b) The master of the ship or an official of the flag state commits a suspect on board the ship to the custody of a law enforcement officer acting under the authority of this state.
(c) The state in whose territory the act or omission occurred requests the exercise of jurisdiction by this state.
(d) The act or omission occurs during a voyage on which over half of the revenue passengers on board the ship originally embarked and plan to finally disembark in this state, without regard to intermediate stopovers.
(e) The victim is a Florida law enforcement officer on board the ship in connection with his or her official duties.
(f) The act or omission is one of violence, detention, or depredation generally recognized as criminal, and the victim is a resident of this state.
(g) The act or omission causes or constitutes an attempt or conspiracy to cause a substantial effect in this state that is an element of the offense charged.
(h) The act or omission is one with respect to which all states may exercise criminal jurisdiction under international law or treaty.
(4) Criminal penalty application.– An act or omission against the person or property of another that is punishable by law when committed within this state shall be punishable in the same manner when committed within the special maritime criminal jurisdiction of this state, provided that the criminal laws of the United States prohibit substantially the same act or omission on board ships of the United States registry outside of the territory of the United States. Except for the circumstances that are within the criteria of paragraph (3)(g) or paragraph (3)(h), it shall be an affirmative defense that the act or omission was authorized by the master of the ship or an officer of the flag state in accordance with the laws of the flag state and international law. No person shall be tried under this section if that person has been tried in good faith by another state for substantially the same act or omission.
(5) Enforcement limitations.
(a) The Attorney General shall take all measures necessary to ensure that law enforcement officers and prosecutors acting under the authority of this state respect the following criteria in applying the provisions of this section:
1. This section is not intended to assert priority over or otherwise interfere with the exercise of criminal jurisdiction by the United States, the flag state, or the state in whose territory an act or omission occurs.
2. This section shall be administered in a manner consistent with international law, with the primary responsibility of the flag state for the maintenance of order on board ship, and with the responsibilities of the Federal Government under the Constitution, treaties, and laws of the United States.
3. This section shall be applied with the cooperation of the flag state and the master of the ship where feasible.
(b) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to:
1. Authorize the boarding, search, or detention of a ship or of persons or property on board a ship without the consent of the flag state or the master of the ship if the ship is located outside of this state or if the necessary law enforcement activities are otherwise beyond the jurisdiction of this state or the United States.
2. Restrict the application or enforcement of other laws of this state or the duty of law enforcement officers to protect human life, property, or the marine environment from imminent harm.
3. Constitute an assertion of jurisdiction over acts or omissions of military or law enforcement officers authorized by a state in accordance with international laws.
4. Prohibit the operation of gambling, games of chance, or other gambling activities otherwise allowable outside the territorial waters of the State of Florida.
Laws 1989, c. 89-201, § 1. Amended by Laws 1997, c. 97-102, § 1511, eff. July 1, 1997.
Notes of Decisions (3)
Current through Chapter 274 (End) of the 2010 Second Regular Session of the Twenty-First Legislature and Chapter 283 of the 2010 Special “A” Session of the Twenty-Second Legislature.