Greg Smith and Associates, Criminal Defense Attorneys

Salt Lake City (Murray)
Free 15 Min. Consultation  :  Nights & Weekends  :  Easy Payments

801-651-1512  -  24/7

Free 15 Min. Consultation 24/7

801-651-1512

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Office Location

Salt Lake City Office
111 E. 5600 S. #105
Murray, UT 84107

Telephone: 801-651-1512
Fax: 801-255-2134
Salt Lake City Law Office Map



Utah Legislature Votes to Stiffen Penalties for Poachers


A bill to make habitual wanton wildlife destruction a felony in Utah passed both the House and Senate, and is currently just days away from the governor's desk for signature.

Late last year, Rep. Curt Oda (R-Clearfield) proposed H.B. 68, Habitual Wanton Destruction of Wildlife, to address concerns regarding poachers who willfully and repeatedly violate wildlife protection laws but are only charged with misdemeanors. Oda told the Salt Lake Tribune of one such individual from Huntington, Utah, who killed seven deer but could not be charged with a felony because their racks did not measure up to required size to constitute trophy hunting.

As the title suggests, H.B. 68 as amended intends to punish those who are responsible for repeatedly violating Utah laws protecting wildlife. Specifically, this bill targets individuals who have taken big game animals in violation of Utah Code §23-20-4 and who have previously been convicted of two similar violations within seven years.

Habitual destruction of wildlife is categorized as a third-degree felony. Under Utah law, third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.

During the legislative process, the House amended H.B. 68 to limit consideration of prior wildlife poaching convictions to a seven-year window. A proposed House amendment to define wildlife poaching as a class-A misdemeanor instead of a third-degree felony failed.

This bill came with some controversy; Rep. Mike Noel (R-Kanab) expressed concerns in an interview with the Salt Lake Tribune that H.B. 68 could invite federal law officials to harass Utahns hunting on federal lands. Ultimately though, the bill had enough support to pass through both the House and Senate.

For those facing allegations of poaching, though, this proposed law means that it will likely become increasingly important to aggressively defend against these allegations. The consequences of a single misdemeanor conviction are more significant when such a conviction can expose a hunter to the possibility of a future felony conviction.

For more information regarding this law or any other legal issues pertaining to poaching, speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.

Clients with disabilities or impairments

Access to our office is available to clients and their family members at all times. Special equipment and communication devices are available upon request for our clients with visual, hearing, speech and physical impairment. In addition, arrangements can be made for verbal or sign language interpreters if needed to communicate between our attorneys and the client and family. Please notify our law office if any additional accommodations related to your disability or impairment are necessary to make your consultation more comfortable.

I understand that I am contacting a corporation, not an individual, and that if I do business with the law firm, it will be with that corporation, not any individual(s). I understand that Greg Smith and Associates is not the legal name of the law firm, rather, it is "Affordable Legal Advocates, PC." I also understand that whatever may relate to, or arise out of, any communication with the law firm, which results in any type of legal action, such must be brought in the Third District Court of Utah, West Jordan Department, and that this is mandatory not permissive.

We Can Help You Now

Call 801-651-1512   Call Now 24/7 Free Consultation: 24/7, nights & weekends
Typically No Retainer - Easy Payments!*

Use our secure private form

I have read the disclaimer.

Feedback From Satisfied Clients

"The domestic violence and DUI crimes that I was charged with would have ruined my career. Thank you for saving me! You are worth every penny I paid you."

More Testimonials >

Avvo Clients' Choice Award. 5 Stars
5 Star Rating


   Review Us On Google

Office Location

Salt Lake City Office
111 E. 5600 S. #105
Murray, UT 84107

Telephone: 801-651-1512
Fax: 801-255-2134
Salt Lake City Law Office Map




Greg Smith and Associates, Criminal Law Attorneys, located in Salt Lake City (SLC), also represents clients from communities such as Provo, Orem, Payson, Ogden, Park City, Sandy, Draper, West Valley City, Bountiful, Murray, West Jordan, Taylorsville, Farmington, Alta, Bluffdale, Cottonwood Heights, Draper, Herriman, Holladay, Midvale, Murray, Riverton, Sandy, South Jordan, South Salt Lake, Taylorsville, West Jordan, West Valley City and Richfield; and counties including Salt Lake County, Summit County, Tooele County, Sevier County and Davis County, Utah.

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