Illegal Dumping: Laws & Penalties

Illegal Dumping: Laws & Penalties

So, what is Illegal Dumping?

Well, just like other legal terms, the definition of illegal dumping varies from state to state. If you are charged with illegal dumping, you need to contact our NYC Illegal Dumping Defense Attoney to get the best legal representation and minimize your penalty. The following element qualify a scenario as illegal dumping:

  • throwing waste material on private or public land that lacks a license to receive the waste
  • throwing waste into sewers and waterways, without a license
  • allowing your friend or another person to throw their waste on your land yet you don’t have a license to receive the waste

Illegal Dumping Facts

While illegal dumping and illegal littering involve throwing waste, the two terms define different scenarios based on the volume of the waste. Typically, littering is throwing a small volume of waste such as a beverage bottle on the sidewalk while illegal dumping involves throwing a large volume of waste such as an old refrigerator and a full bin of house waste.

Another fact regarding illegal dumping is the type of waste someone is dumping. For example, if you throw a car battery that constitutes a hazardous component even if it is small, the act is illegal dumping and not littering.

How Does Illegal Dumping become a Misdemeanor or a Felony Crime?

Illegal dumping becomes either a misdemeanor or felony crime depending on several factors.

  1. Quantity of the waste
  2. The type of waste (is it hazardous?)
  • Who dumped the waste, a company or an individual?
  1. Has the offender dumped waste before?

Unquestionably, if a person is a repeat offender, a company and is disposing of hazardous material, the act becomes a felony.

Prosecution

The advantage of having laws is that no one is above any. Therefore, anyone can be prosecuted if found violating illegal dumping laws including company managers and executives.

Penalties for Illegal Dumping

Once you’re convicted with illegal dumping, you can face one or several of the following penalties:

Fines: a defendant can be penalized with a fine from as little as few dollars to thousand dollars depending on whether a crime is a misdemeanor or felony. Also, the fine may incur until the person responsible for dumping has removed the waste from the unlicensed area.

Probation: another punishment is probation whereby the defendant has to meet with a probation officer at required time failure to which could lead to more problems.

Incarceration: if a crime is a misdemeanor, the offender can be punished for jail time of up to 12 months and 1 or 2 years if it's a felony.

Remediation: this penalty requires the defendant to clean and repair damages they caused after dumping in the wrong place.

Restitution is the amount the defendant pays to someone as a damage fee.

Community service: besides probation, a defendant may have to engage in activities with a charity organization approved by the court, for several hours in a day.

Defenses

Notably, most crimes have a list of defenses the defendant can use. But, crimes regarding environmental wellness have fewer to no defenses. Nonetheless, the following are some of the defenses that the defendant can use.

  • Justifiable Reliance

If a government representative tells you that you don't need a license to dump waste and proceed to dispose of the waste in good faith, you can use that as a defense.

  • Invalid Dumping Directive

Suppose illegal law restricting disposing waste is country-based. If a city or county wishes to implement that law, it has to follow the complex procedure the state use failure to which a defendant can use as a defense.

  • Lack of Knowledge

Ignorance is not an excuse to commit a crime. But, if the defendant can show in good faith that they can comply with the illegal dumping laws, the charges can be reduced.

Find Legal Representation

If you’re charged with illegal dumping you need a lawyer primarily one that practices law in your local area. Why? One defense can work in another state while still be denied in your country. Moreover, a lawyer will use their negotiation skills to ensure you get minimal penalties.

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