The wanton destruction of wildlife is a felony crime. The wanton destruction of wildlife typically involves intentionally committing a poaching crime that results in the harm, capture or death of a protected animal.
Utah residents can also be charged with wanton destruction of protected wildlife if they harm protected animals at night with a weapon, hunt with a suspended or revoked license, intentionally abandon a carcass, or commit a poaching crime for financial gain.
The attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates handle poaching and wildlife cases throughout Utah, including cases involving the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area and Ashley National Forest.
Our attorneys have prosecutorial experience and handle even the most complex poaching law cases. If you have been accused of wanton destruction of wildlife in Utah, call us at 801-651-1512 or contact us online.
Penalties for Wanton Destruction of Wildlife in Utah
The wanton destruction of protected wildlife can result in third-degree felony charges. A third-degree felony in Utah is punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Individuals convicted of wanton destruction of protected wildlife can also face significant restitution fines that can go as high as $1,000 per animal.
Felony charges can also bar a person from obtaining employment and rental housing, among other things.
Wanton Destruction of Aquatic Wildlife
Utah boaters and lakeshore residents can be charged with the wanton destruction of aquatic wildlife. Charges can be brought if a person pollutes any Utah waters that the Wildlife Board deems “necessary” for wildlife purposes or waters that contain protected animals.
Wanton destruction of wildlife charges can be brought against individuals who intentionally harm a large variety of animals, including:
- Protected aquatic wildlife
- Stoneflies (Plecoptera)
- Mayflies (Ephemoptera)
- Dragonflies and damsel flies (Odonata)
- Caddis flies (Trichoptera)
- Spongilla flies (Neuroptera)
Additionally, Utah prosecutors can charge a separate offense for each day of pollution. This means that these charges can quickly add up and turn into a major criminal case.
The poaching law attorneys at Greg Smith and Associates handle all types of wildlife cases, including those involving aquatic wildlife crimes involving the Great Salt Lake, the Utaba Reservoir, East Canyon Reservoir and Lake Walcott.
Contact us online or call our office at 801-651-1512 to set up a free consultation. Our attorneys are available any day at any time. We routinely meet with clients throughout Utah and have evening appointments available for your convenience.