Penalties and Fines

The wildlife crime defense attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates represent those who have been accused of poaching in all Utah parks and forests, including the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest and Weber County North Fork Park.

Many hunters accused of poaching crimes make the mistake of giving too much information to Wildlife Resources officers before consulting with a criminal defense attorney. This often results in hunters having to pay large fines, serve jail time or lose their hunting licenses.

Contact us online or call our office at 801-651-1512 if you have been accused of a poaching crime in Utah. Our law firm takes all of our poaching cases seriously and will strive to help you defend yourself against wildlife crime charges.

Criminal Penalties in Utah

In general, poaching crimes in Utah vary in severity depending on the types of animals involved and their perceived value. A poaching or wildlife crime can result in a penalty as minor as a disorderly conduct infraction, but some poaching crimes have serious consequences such as a second-degree felony conviction.

A felony is a major crime punishable by a prison sentence and a significant fine. Poaching crimes typically provide the basis for two types of felony charges:

  • Second-degree felonies, which are punishable by up to a 15-year prison term and a $10,000 fine
  • Third-degree felonies, which are punishable by up to a five-year prison term and a $5,000 fine.

Punishment for Misdemeanor Wildlife Crimes

Misdemeanor crimes are not considered as serious as felonies and are punishable by county jail sentences less than a year long. Misdemeanor convictions can also result in fines.

There are three classes of misdemeanors in Utah:

  • Class A misdemeanors can result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a $2,500 fine.
  • Class B misdemeanors can result in a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.
  • Class C misdemeanors can result in a 90-day jail sentence a $750 fine.

An infraction is the most minor offense possible for a poaching crime. Infractions include disorderly conduct charges and can be punished by fines of up to $750.

Restitution For Utah Poaching Crimes

The most damaging part of a criminal conviction for a poaching crime is often the requirement to pay restitution. Judges have discretion in how much restitution they order, but the suggested minimum restitution values for Utah protected wildlife go as high as $1,000 per animal taken.

The highest restitution values are reserved for animals such as bears, moose, Rocky Mountain goats and bison.

Contact Our Utah Wildlife Crimes Defense Law Firm

Poaching and wildlife crimes can result in serious criminal charges that can impact your employment, housing and educational opportunities. It is important to speak with a qualified poaching law attorney before speaking with police officers or officials from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

The attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates handle poaching and wildlife cases throughout Utah, including those involving poaching in the Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Ashley National Forest, Dixie National Forest and the Round Valley Wildlife Management Area.

To set up a free consultation with a poaching law attorney at our law firm, call us at 801-651-1512 or contact us online. We are available for both evening and weekend appointments for your convenience.

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