Legal Question in Admiralty Law in Florida

Legal Authority

Does the Florida Marine Patrol have the legal authority to board and search your boat with out just cause?

Asked on 8/13/00, 6:26 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

David Forrester Forrester & Associates

Re: Legal Authority

Assuming they are not improperly profiling, they can pretty much stop who they wish for safety and inspection, as well as all the usual reasons that pass scrunity under the 4th Amendment for automobile searches. You simply have a lesser reasonable expectation of privacy in a maritime environment, and besides alcohol use, you have issues of safe operation, equipment, immigration, smuggling, illegal fishing, registration, and others...

Diplay your hull registration properly, wear life vests, operate in a reasonable and safe manner, know the navigatible waters in your area, and obey the rules of navigation and you will greatly reduce the chances of your being stopped.

If we can be of assistance please feel free to contact us at Forrester & Associates, 256-435-1007.

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Answered on 9/23/00, 6:39 am


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