Environmental crime is a new kind of crime that has unfortunately been growing in our country over recent years. Large corporations may be found guilty of environmental crimes, but smaller businesses and individuals can also be charged with them. The number one most common type of criminal environmental act that anyone can commit is to improperly dispose hazardous waste material. In order to avoid serious penalties and prison time, it is beneficial to know more about these environmental crimes and how you can avoid them.
How Can Individuals and Companies be Charged with an Environmental Crime?
- Illegal hazardous waste disposal: This kind of environmental crime can range from unintentional spills in vehicle accidents on freeways to planned illegal disposal. Leaving tank valves open to slowly release harmful gases and liquids into the air and ground is also included in this crime. Some planned acts can also include renting a truck, filling it with harmful gas, and abandoning it somewhere, or renting a storage unit and filling it with waste drums. Businesses should especially be careful when hiring haulers to transport their chemicals, because they could easily pocket the money and illegally dispose the material elsewhere.
- Illegal disposal of tires, construction and demolition materials: If you dump your used tires in an improper or illegal fashion, the tires could catch fire and release toxic substances into the air, which damages the environment. Leftover materials from construction and demolition sites can have illegal debris dumped alongside the surrounding roads, which can result in community clean ups that then expose people to the dangerous toxins.
- Abandoned household appliances: Before throwing away your household appliances, make sure you read the disposal instructions on the product. Mercury can leak from the appliances and expose humans to mercury vapors, which can be deadly for our health.
An environmental crime is a type of fraud that can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the result of damage and injuries from the crime committed. If you have been charged with an environmental crime and you are seeking legal representation in criminal court, now is the time to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact Garcia, Schnayerson & Thompson today.