Unlawful Hunting of Wild Animals | A Defense Lawyer’s Viewpoint | The Criminal and Administrative Problems in Washington
Unlawful Hunting of Wild Animals
Essentially, an unlawful hunting of wild animals charge is like an unlawful hunting of big game charge except the animal in question is not designated as big game. As criminal defense attorneys, it is important that clients understand there are countless ways to violate the law and an intentional violation is not required. If an individual hunts for a wild animal not classified as big game without the appropriate hunting license, tags, or permits required on his person while doing so, the person can be charged with unlawful hunting of wild animals in the second degree. A violation of less than two times the bag limit, hunting in a closed area, at a closed time, or violating in another manner the regulations will also lead to a 2° charge.
The only distinction between a second degree and a first degree charge is if the individual took greater than two times the bag limit of the wild animal in question. A second degree violation is a misdemeanor while a first degree violation is a gross misdemeanor.
It is important to remember that failure to comply with most regulations is a crime and can result in a criminal conviction on your record. Fish & Wildlife enforcement take these types of violations extremely seriously and will not accept “an honest mistake” or an excuse. Each case is unique so violations can result in fines, jail, loss of hunting rights, and loss of personal property used as a part of the violation. For example, if you transported an illegally killed animal, they could seize the truck it was carried in. If your property is seized you must file your appeal before a quickly approaching deadline otherwise you will have automatically waived your rights and have forfeited the property.
The criminal defense lawyers in our office fight these kinds of charges vigorously as we find that the government personal that investigate and charge these kinds of cases are zealous in their investigation and charging of these kinds of crimes. The consequences of these kinds of charges can be fought and/or mitigated, especially when a competent defense lawyer team is engaged early on in the process. Do not get caught unaware and make the situation worse: call for representation as soon as possible before things quickly spiral out of control.