The Endangered Species Act is a federal law that was passed in 1973 to protect animals and plants that are at risk of becoming extinct.
Penalties for violating the Endangered Species Act can be severe. Federal officials can bring civil fines of up to $25,000 per each violation. Criminal penalties can include prison sentences and fines up to $50,000. The law also provides for the forfeiture of all property involved with the federal wildlife crimes.
The wildlife crime defense attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates represent those who have been accused of Endangered Species Act violations in all Utah parks and forests, including Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Antelope Island State Park and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
Violating federal wildlife crimes can have serious consequences so it is important to contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. To set up a free consultation with one of our attorneys about your federal wildlife crimes case, call us at 801-651-1512 or contact us online.
The difference between endangered and threatened animals
Endangered animals are at risk of extinction for at least a significant portion of their habitat. Threatened species are animals and plants that are likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future.
Basic Elements of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)
- The ESA makes it illegal to “take” animals listed as endangered or threatened under the act.
- To “take” a protected animal means to pursue, hunt, kill or harm the animal or attempt to do so.
- Under the ESA, “harming” a protected animal includes actions such as damaging the animal’s habitat.
- Plants are not protected from being taken, although it is illegal for Utah residents to collect or maliciously harm protected plants on federal land.
Endanger Species Act in Utah
The poaching law attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates handle all types of wildlife cases, including those involving poaching crimes around the Great Salt Lake, Mantua Reservoir and the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Our attorneys defend Utah residents and visitors against all types of wildlife criminal charges. Our lead attorney, Gregory B. Smith, has prosecutorial experience and we also have a former police officer trainer on staff. Our experience working for the other side means that we have a unique advantage when defending our clients against wildlife charges.
It is vital to obtain criminal defense counsel as early in the process as possible. You can create significant issues in your criminal case by attempting to explain your actions to authorities before speaking to an attorney.
Contact us online or call our office at 801-651-1512 to discuss your wildlife crime charges with our attorneys.