(1) It is unlawful for a person, firm, association, or corporation to deal, at retail, in tobacco products, in any manner, or to allow a tobacco products vending machine to be located on its premises, without having a retail tobacco products dealer permit as required by s. 569.003. A person who violates this section is guilty of a noncriminal violation, punishable by a fine of not more than $500.
(2) Any person who violates this section shall be cited for such infraction and shall be cited to appear before the county court. The citation may indicate the time, date, and location of the scheduled hearing and must indicate that the penalty for a noncriminal violation is a fine of not more than $500.
(3) A person cited for an infraction under this section may:
(a) Post a $500 bond; or
(b) Sign and accept the citation indicating a promise to appear.
(4)(a) A person cited with violating this section may:
1. Pay the $500 fine, either by mail or in person, within 10 days after receiving the citation; or
2. If that person has posted a bond, forfeit the bond by not appearing at the scheduled hearing.
(b) If the person cited pays the $500 fine or forfeits the bond, that person is deemed to have admitted violating this section and to have waived the right to a hearing on the issue of commission of the violation. Such admission may not be used as evidence in any other proceeding.
(5) The court, after a hearing, shall make a determination as to whether an infraction has been committed. If the commission of an infraction has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the court may impose a civil penalty in an amount that may not exceed $500.
(6) If a person is found by the court to have committed the infraction, that person may appeal that finding to the circuit court.