2003 Regular Session
To: Ports and Marine Resources
By: Senator(s) Hewes, Dawkins
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 49-15-63, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO ALLOW THE COMMISSION ON MARINE RESOURCES TO SUSPEND THE LICENSE OF PERSONS CONVICTED OF A MARINE VIOLATION AND TO SUSPEND THE LICENSE OF VESSELS USED IN THE VIOLATION; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 49-15-63, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
49-15-63. (1) (a) Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this chapter or any ordinance duly adopted by the commission, unless otherwise specifically provided for herein, shall, on conviction, be fined not less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00), nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), for the first offense, unless the first offense is committed during a closed season, in which case the fine shall be not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00); and not less than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), nor more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), for the second offense when such offense is committed within a period of three (3) years from the first offense; and not less than Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00) nor more than Four Thousand Dollars ($4,000.00), or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not exceeding thirty (30) days for any third or subsequent offense when such offense is committed within a period of three (3) years from the first offense.
(b) In addition, upon conviction of such third or subsequent offense, it shall be the duty of the court to revoke the license of the convicted party and of the boat or vessel used in such offense, and no further license shall be issued to such person and for said boat to engage in catching or taking of any seafoods from the waters of the State of Mississippi for a period of one (1) year following such conviction. Forfeiture of any equipment or nets used in a second or subsequent offense may be instituted pursuant to Sections 49-15-201 through 49-15-207. If the person in possession of or using the nets in the violation is not the owner or licensee of the nets, the department shall notify the owner or licensee of the nets. The nets shall be subject to forfeiture unless the nets were stolen and prosecution for the theft is initiated. Equipment as used in this section shall not mean boats or vessels.
(c) Any person convicted and sentenced under this section for a second or subsequent offense shall not be considered for * * * reduction of sentence.
(d) Except as provided under subsection (5) of Section 49-15-45, any fines collected under this section shall be paid into the Seafood Fund.
(e) In addition to any other penalties, the commission may suspend the license of any person convicted of a violation of this chapter and may suspend the license of any vessel used in the violation for a period not to exceed five (5) days for the first offense. For a second offense, the commission may suspend the license of such person and vessel for a period not to exceed thirty (30) days.
(2) For any violation of this chapter, the individual registered as the captain of a freight boat, ice boat or catching boat used in catching or transporting of saltwater shrimp shall be subject to the penalties provided in this chapter, if that individual is aboard the vessel. If that individual is not aboard the vessel, the individual designated as the substitute captain in accordance with Section 49-15-64.5 shall be subject to the penalties provided in this chapter. If no individual is designated under Section 49-15-64.5, the person, firm or corporation owning the vessel shall be subject to the penalties provided for boat captains.
(3) All citations issued to boat operators for not possessing the boat's registration card shall be dismissed, along with all related court costs, upon the presentment of the boat's proper registration card to the court or magistrate holding the trial or hearing.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.