It is very easy for a Utah resident to be convicted of transporting protected wildlife. The possession of any antlers, pelts or other animal products lays the foundation for serious criminal charges. That is why it is important to contact an experienced poaching law attorney if a Wildlife Resources officer questions you regarding animal products in your possession.
The attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates handle poaching and wildlife cases throughout Utah, including Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Wasatch National Forest and Zion National Park.
What Does Transporting Protected Wildlife Mean?
Most people think the term “protected wildlife” applies only to animals such as bald eagles or endangered species. In reality, the vast majority of Utah wildlife is considered “protected” under state law.
Protected wildlife includes all vertebrate animals living in nature, crustaceans and mollusks. Birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and many fish are vertebrate animals.
Exceptions to the Protected Wildlife Statute
Animals that are not considered “protected wildlife” under Utah law include:
- Feral animals
- Field mice
- Ground squirrels
Many Utah residents face charges of transporting protected wildlife for possessing trophy deer and elk that were killed outside of the limits of a permit. Most hunters do not consider this to be a big deal and make the mistake of giving too much information to wildlife law enforcement officers. This makes it easy for wildlife officials to secure convictions and impose serious criminal penalties on a hunter.
Penalties for Transportation of Protected Wildlife
The unauthorized taking, possessing or transporting of protected wildlife in Utah is a class B misdemeanor. This means that if convicted, a person could be fined up to $1,000 and face up to six months in jail. Authorities may additionally suspend a person’s hunting permits for a long time.
Contact Our Utah Poaching Law Firm
Poaching violations are criminal offenses, so a conviction for transporting protected wildlife can result in a criminal record that has serious professional and personal consequences. Poaching crime convictions often impact an individual’s ability to rent and may jeopardize a person’s professional licensing status.
If you have been charged with transporting protected wildlife or any other poaching crime, contact Greg Smith and Associates. Our attorneys are among the most experienced Salt Lake City area criminal defense lawyers. Our lead attorney, Greg Smith, has prosecutorial experience and knows the other side’s playbook.
To set up a free consultation with one of our poaching law attorneys, call us at 801-651-1512 or contact us online. Our attorneys handle all types of wildlife cases, including those involving poaching crimes around the Great Salt Lake, Bear Lake, Mantua Reservoir, Utaba Reservoir and Rockport Lake.