October 3, 2015
In Florida, possession of moonshine is illegal and may lead to criminal charges. According to section 562.451 of Florida Statutes, anyone who possesses moonshine, or liquor not made or manufactured in compliance with Florida law, may be guilty of a misdemeanor or felony. The extent of punishment for possession of moonshine depends on the quantity in your possession.
Felony vs. Misdemeanor Moonshine Possession
Anyone in possession or having control of less than one gallon of moonshine may be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. Anyone in possession of one gallon or more of moonshine may be found guilty of a third degree felony.
What Are the Potential Penalties?
Moonshine possession charged as a felony of the third degree is punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment, a $5,000 fine, court fees and court costs. Moonshine possession charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a $500 fine, court fees and court costs. In most cases, it is unlikely that the court will impose the maximum fines and jail time. Sometimes, the court will suspend portions of the sentence and allow a defendant to do probation.
Moonshine May Be Seized by Law Enforcement
In addition to being charged with the criminal offenses mentioned above, law enforcement can seize any moonshine found in your possession and prevent you from recovering it. Because moonshine is considered illegal in Florida, the moonshine is forfeited to the possession of the state.
What If I Make My Own Beer or Wine?
According to Florida Statutes, beer or wine production is permitted for personal or family use only, so long as the quantities do not exceed 200 gallons per year, or 100 per year for a single person. You do not need a license and do not have to pay any fees to make beer and wine for personal or family use. It is also legal to feature homemade beer and wine in competitions and tastings, so long as it is not sold. However, anything more than 200 gallons, or 100 gallons for a single person, violates Florida’s Beverage Law.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Legal Representation
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, including possession of moonshine, contact the Khonsari Law Group today. The attorneys at Khonsari Law Group have experience representing Florida defendants and protecting their rights. An attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and identify potential defenses. Sometimes, errors committed by law enforcement may provide grounds for a dismissal. In every case, the prosecution must be able to prove certain elements beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorneys at Khonsari Law Group hold prosecutors to that standard and make sure you are treated fairly throughout the criminal justice process.