Unlawful taking of Endangered Fish or Wildlife | A Defense Lawyer’s Viewpoint | The Criminal and Administrative Problems in Washington
Criminal Charges relating to Unlawful taking of Endangered Fish or Wildlife
A second degree violation is a serious type of misdemeanor called a gross misdemeanor which carries the possibility of more jail time and a longer criminal conviction than a misdemeanor. It is applicable when an individual, without a permit, hunts, fishes, possesses, maliciously harasses, or intentionally destroys the nests or eggs of fish or wildlife, which has been designated as endangered.
A charge will rise to a first-degree violation, which is a class C felony, if the individual has a previous unlawful taking of endangered fish or wildlife conviction in the past 5 years. A 1° conviction also comes with a two year suspension of the license which was connected with the criminal act in question. For example, an individual who was illegally hunting would then have their hunting license suspended after a first degree conviction.
As criminal defense lawyers we emphasize awareness that any interaction with government agents on State, Federal or Private Land should be treated as a criminal investigation by the hunter and any others in the party should abide by our opinion on giving statements to any officer when approached. As an old wise hunter once said, “the less said the better.”
The consequences of these kinds of charges can be fought and/or mitigated, especially when a competent legal team is engaged early on in the process. Do not get caught unaware and make the situation worse: use experienced private representation and call us.