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  1. #1
    us
    Just another Guy In Back

    Feb 2007
    Left coast of Florida
    GTI 2500 / Infinium LS / Tesoro Sand Shark / Garrett Pro-pointer
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    Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    Here are the State of Florida laws regarding artifacts. This is factual, not some made up, my opinion, I heard it from a friend who got it first hand from a guy who knows a fellow that saw someone getting busted for looting artifacts…

    Basically it states in part that, 'Any person who by means other than excavation removes… any archeological site or specimen… upon state land… commits a MISDEMEANOR and shall forfeit the specimens to the state.' It says NOTHING about getting your truck, Metal Detector, dog, gas cap, or anything else confiscated for forfeiture under the laws of the state of Florida.

    To turn it into a FELONY you have to use some means of excavation, and don’t even think that using your long handled scoop is a ‘means of excavation’. Let’s not be that anal please. Means of excavation would be the ‘blowers’ ‘backhoe’ or some other sort of mechanical powered device. (No, I’m not a legal expert, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night… and have read and applied common sense to the law.)

    So, in my humble opinion, if your MD’ing and remove an artifact, let’s say that Spanish Cob from the beach, and get busted… It’s a Misdemeanor. They can take the cob and turn it into the State. Will they? Probably not, the madness of paperwork involved is not worth the hassle or headache. Are you going to loose your truck, dog and MD’er? No.

    OK, time to beat me up… but before you do, I’ve attached the laws below and have researched the ‘Case Law’s’ and can find nothing to contradict my opinions and thoughts.

    PLEASE NOTE: and by the way, the last paragraph is of special interest to folks selling illegally obtained coins, articles or artifacts. It’s written to be a Felony… and it’s THIS one that allows for forfeiture of your boat, truck, trailer, so on and so forth.

    Florida Laws:

    267.13 Prohibited practices; penalties.--

    (1)(a) Any person who by means other than excavation either conducts archaeological field investigations on, or removes or attempts to remove, or defaces, destroys, or otherwise alters any archaeological site or specimen located upon, any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except in the course of activities pursued under the authority of a permit or under procedures relating to accredited institutions granted by the division, commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083, and, in addition, shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects, and materials collected, together with all photographs and records relating to such material.

    (b) Any person who by means of excavation either conducts archaeological field investigations on, or removes or attempts to remove, or defaces, destroys, or otherwise alters any archaeological site or specimen located upon, any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except in the course of activities pursued under the authority of a permit or under procedures relating to accredited institutions granted by the division, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and any vehicle or equipment of any person used in connection with the violation is subject to forfeiture to the state if it is determined by any court of law that the vehicle or equipment was involved in the violation. Such person shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects, and materials collected or excavated, together with all photographs and records relating to such material. The court may also order the defendant to make restitution to the state for the archaeological or commercial value and cost of restoration and repair as defined in subsection (4).

    (c) Any person who offers for sale or exchange any object with knowledge that it has previously been collected or excavated in violation of any of the terms of ss. 267.11-267.14, or who procures, counsels, solicits, or employs any other person to violate any prohibition contained in ss. 267.11-267.14 or to sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to sell, purchase, or exchange any archaeological resource excavated or removed from any land owned or controlled by the state or within the boundaries of a designated state archaeological landmark or landmark zone, except with the express consent of the division, commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, and any vehicle or equipment of any person used in connection with the violation is subject to forfeiture to the state if it is determined by any court of law that such vehicle or equipment was involved in the violation. All specimens, objects, and material collected or excavated, together with all photographs and records relating to such material, shall be forfeited to the state. The court may also order the defendant to make restitution to the state for the archaeological or commercial value and cost of restoration and repair as defined in subsection (4).
    • "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." A. J. Liebling

  2. #2
    us
    Feb 2004
    lake mary florida
    Wesmar SHD700SS Side Scan Sonar,U/W Mac 1 Turbo Aquasound by American Electronics,Fisher 1280x,Aquasound UW md,Aqua pulse AQ1B
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    So if you are paranoid about getting busted for finding that gold cob.before you go to the beach,stop by the Mclarty museum an buy a bunch of those FAKE REPLICA gold and silver cobs for 2 bux each.just swallow the gold cobs as you find them(you will get them back later)keep the fakes in your pocket in case you
    get a visit from the law.give them those as a bribe or just as a good will gesture.an say you found them on the beach.but dont do this as a habit.we dont want the law thinking they can just go up to any treasure hunter an take his treasure.them being fakes or not.its kinda like in virginia when the radar detector was illegal to have in your car or truck.so someone gave out a bunch of fake card board ones for everyone to put on thier dashes in plain sight for the troopers to see.
    Millions of dollars of Spanish treasure await those who would dare brave the eye of the hurricane.

  3. #3

    Jun 2007
    Boca de Ratones
    excalibur
    75

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    thanks for the great research. i feel more free already.
    the hardest thing to find has been the time.

  4. #4
    us
    ARRG

    Feb 2005
    Sarasota, FL
    Whites Surfmaster PI Pro and Whites Surfmaster PI, Minelab Excal NY blue sword.
    1,949
    75 times
    Shipwrecks

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    Notice that the paragraph that you posted says "designated State archealogical zone or landmark." That is not at the beach, or just any old field.

  5. #5

    Oct 2004
    stuart..the treasure coast..well, used to be
    Minelab Excalibur with a WOT!
    578
    3 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    Beaches don't count. Anything you find on a beach is yours. NO restrictions, except if the beach is adjacent to a state/federal park/seashore.

  6. #6
    us
    Aug 2007
    FL
    Explor II, seamk
    164
    1 times

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...





    even when MD in state parks with Bch"s: pending which state park: always check first,
    but " most of the time" anything between " Mean High tide mark, and mean Low tide mark"
    it's Yours!

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Underwater Heritage Rescue Diver

    Jul 2006
    Tampa, FL
    AquaPulse AQ1B - AquaPulse DX-200 Magnetometer
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    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    Yes, those laws are specifically dealing with submerged finds, why don't you post a copy of the Submerged Finds act as well. Good work.

    Jason

  8. #8
    dk
    Feb 2006
    142

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    Quote Originally Posted by FISHEYE
    .give them those as a bribe or just as a good will gesture.
    Is a counterfeit charge better than having your detector confiscated

    /V

  9. #9
    us
    Just another Guy In Back

    Feb 2007
    Left coast of Florida
    GTI 2500 / Infinium LS / Tesoro Sand Shark / Garrett Pro-pointer
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    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
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    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    I think some of you guys misread the law. This is not just submerged finds. This is the beach too...

    Look at> 267.13 Prohibited practices; penalties.--(1)(a) It states in part where talking about locations, "any land owned or controlled by the state or... "

    The beach is owned by the State of Florida. According to what I'm reading you can't remove or disturb any artifact from any State of Florida property, anywhere. (unless properly authorized)

    One of the 'key' wording's in the law is the word "OR". This covers all state owned lands. This statue was written to pretty much cover everything. This is the 'letter' of the law. I don't think the 'spirit' of the law intended to fill the jails with hobbyists and the evidence room with metal detectors.

    Now, my opinion. Will you get busted for picking up a Cob on the beach? Probably not. The courts do not have room on the docket to prosecute armed robberies, stabbings, and drive by shootings. I doubt they would waste time on hobbyist's with a metal detector walking on the beach. When you show up to work the beach after a hurricane the cops have got way too much on their hands already.

    I'm not trying to put a crimp on the hobby, just pointing out the law as it's written dispelling some myths. What will I do when I finally find that Cob? Jeeze, go figure...


    • "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." A. J. Liebling

  10. #10

    May 2006
    1,520

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    What will happen to all the Metal Detector manufactures when it becomes against the Law to detect anyplace.
    You would think THEY would be UP IN ARMS since this DOES effect the economy of AMERICA.
    BUT IT APPEARS they will let the LITTLE GUY do their battling for them.
    I recall when this subject came up when I came on this TN forum AND NOT A SINGLE THING HAS BEEN DONE AND I DOUBT WILL EVER BE DONE.
    Words without action means NOTHING.
    Peg leg

  11. #11
    us
    Just another Guy In Back

    Feb 2007
    Left coast of Florida
    GTI 2500 / Infinium LS / Tesoro Sand Shark / Garrett Pro-pointer
    3,492
    2384 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    I am unable to locate the law that states the '50 year old' definition articulating what is an artifact.

    This is the State of Florida's definition that I could find. I believe section (3) applies. (The bold type) It also appears that the age is open to interpretation of some unknown person(s).


    267.021 Definitions.--For the purpose of this act, the term:

    (1) "Division" means the Division of Historical Resources of the Department of State.

    (2) "Agency" means any state, county, or municipal officer, department, division, board, bureau, commission, or other separate unit of government created or established by law.

    (3) "Historic property" or "historic resource" means any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, object, or other real or personal property of historical, architectural, or archaeological value, and folklife resources. These properties or resources may include, but are not limited to, monuments, memorials, Indian habitations, ceremonial sites, abandoned settlements, sunken or abandoned ships, engineering works, treasure trove, artifacts, or other objects with intrinsic historical or archaeological value, or any part thereof, relating to the history, government, and culture of the state.
    • "Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one." A. J. Liebling

  12. #12
    Commodore Swab

    Jul 2007
    21

    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    When dealing with shipwrecks I think the big issue we are failing to notice is that state waters terminate 3 miles off shore. I know that there are other laws protecting the reef that is 6-7 miles off shore and since those are not state waters where is the law regarding that?

  13. #13
    Charter Member
    us
    Underwater Heritage Rescue Diver

    Jul 2006
    Tampa, FL
    AquaPulse AQ1B - AquaPulse DX-200 Magnetometer
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    Re: Florida Laws on Artifacts and such...

    State waters to 3 miles out, federal waters from 3-12 miles, and international waters after that. The federal guidelines that Spez posted are what govern everything past 3 miles. The 50 year old rule may be something my brain is carrying over from texas, that's how they define an artifact, I thought it was the same in Florida, but I could be mistaken, it wouldn't be the first time.

    Jason

 

 

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