(1)(a) It is unlawful to operate any truck, tractor, trailer, or other motor vehicle hauling citrus fruit in bulk or in unclosed containers for commercial purposes on the highways of this state unless such truck, tractor, trailer, or other motor vehicle is:
1. Designated by a number assigned or permitted for use in the way and manner and to the extent prescribed by department rule.
2. Identified by lettering plainly showing the name of the person owning same, or the name of any lessee or other person operating same. The lettering shall not be less than 3 inches in height on both sides of the vehicle or on the front end and the rear end of the vehicle, except that lettering on flatbed semitrailers shall not be less than 11/2 inches in height on the rear end of the trailer.
Terms Used In Florida Statutes 601.731
- Citrus fruit: means all varieties and regulated hybrids of citrus fruit and also means processed citrus products containing 20 percent or more citrus fruit or citrus fruit juice. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Citrus fruit dealer: means any consignor, commission merchant, consignment shipper, cash buyer, broker, association, cooperative association, express or gift fruit shipper, or person who in any manner makes or attempts to make money or other thing of value on citrus fruit in any manner whatsoever, other than of growing or producing citrus fruit. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Department: means the Department of Citrus. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
- Person: means any natural person, partnership, association, corporation, trust, estate, or other legal entity. See Florida Statutes 601.03
- Producer: means any person growing or producing citrus in this state for market. See Florida Statutes 601.03
(b) If the truck, tractor, trailer, or other motor vehicle is owned by a licensed fruit dealer under this chapter, there shall also appear, except on the rear end of a flatbed semitrailer or similar truck trailer, the words “Licensed Citrus Fruit Dealer” by lettering of not less than 3 inches minimum in height under the name of the owner of such vehicle. When both a tractor and trailer or when two units are used in the operation of hauling, both of such units shall be so marked.
(c) The designations aforesaid shall be painted or affixed by decal upon the vehicle or units so as to be of a permanent character, except that where vehicles are leased for a period of not more than 30 days, it shall be sufficient if the designations provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) are clearly legible and affixed by temporary means.
(d) A motor vehicle which is not so marked that is so hauling such citrus fruit on the highways of this state shall prima facie be considered to be hauling commercial fruit with intent to violate this section. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to any such fruit being hauled from the farm or grove by the producer of such fruit in her or his own vehicle to market or place of first commercial handling unless such producer is also a licensed citrus fruit dealer.
(2) Any person driving any truck, tractor, trailer, or other motor vehicle hauling citrus fruit in bulk or in unclosed containers for commercial purposes on the highways of the state must have on her or his person while driving such vehicle a certificate or other paper showing the approximate amount of fruit being hauled; the name of the owner and the grove or other origin of such fruit; the number painted or affixed by decal, as well as the number of the motor vehicle license tag, on the vehicle in which such fruit is being hauled; and such other information and data as may be prescribed by department rule, and it is unlawful to drive any such vehicle on the highways of this state without having such certificate or other paper. The failure of any such person to have such certificate or other paper on her or his person while driving such vehicle is prima facie evidence of intent to violate and of the violation of this section.
(3)(a) A person who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of subsection (1) is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(b) A person who violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of subsection (2) is, upon the first conviction, guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and upon any subsequent conviction, guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.