"11. They said whoever is using the plants has the burden of proof for ID and will be held responsible for keeping the plant. It doesn't matter if people think the plant is correctly identified."
This specifically goes against the Constitution of the United States of America
(it's actually not stated in the Constitution that "I'm innocent until proven guilty
", but it is the underlying theme and 'common law').
When in court, I am innocent until I am proven guilty WITHOUT a shadow of doubt, it has to be proven 100%. 90% = not guilty.
Any half baked lawyer can get the case tossed (well, if his fee is less than the $250 fine anyway
). If the law goes into affect as it is currently written, and with them expecting the accused to prove they're innocent: I do not believe any of the fines will be enforceable by a court.
The prosecution has to produce evidence that I have committed a crime. That would have to be some sort of plant expert that can say "Yes, this is one of the banned plants; Long Latin Name Here." And show a picture of it from some sort of publication with a picture of the plant from my aquarium. If the prosecution cannot provide proof = instant case dismissed, and you also have a case for them targeting you/falsely accusing/false arrest, etc. Could turn into a huge nightmare for the State's budget. Not to mention at that point, the entire law would be deamed "unconstitutional" and we would not have an Exotic Plant excluding list in place for the State of Texas. Could be very bad.
Of course I'm no lawyer, but I do know how to read the Constitution, though it seems Texas law makers do not.
It becomes "they said it's illegal", "I disagree", "they have the burden of proof", "case dismissed because they cannot without a shadow of a doubt prove I committed a crime".
I hope they keep this stance: whoever is using the plants has the burden of proof for ID!!!!