Hunting Violations and Poaching in Utah
As a state with many natural resources, hunting and fishing in Utah are commonplace activities among residents and visitors. The state has enacted many hunting and fishing laws as a means to protect these people and the natural resources, which can often be violated unintentionally. These violations can incur severe penalties, including fines, restitution, loss of a hunting license, and even jail time. Common wildlife violations in Salt Lake City can include:
- Taking, Transporting, Selling or Purchasing Protected Wildlife
- Taking Protected Wildlife While Trespassing
- Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife
- Entry on Private Land While Hunting or Fishing
- Interference with Hunting
- Aiding or Assisting a Wildlife Violation
- Captivity of Protected Wildlife
- Importation or Exportation and Release of Wildlife
Salt Lake City Wildlife Violations Defense Attorney
Darren Levitt of Levitt Legal can help you avoid harsh consequences and repercussions for your wildlife violation in Salt Lake City, Utah. Darren Levitt is experienced and knowledgeable in all areas of Utah criminal defense, including wildlife violations. Contact the law office of Levitt Legal at (801) 455-1743 for a consultation about your wildlife criminal offense today.
Salt Lake City Wildlife Crimes Information Center
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Wildlife Resources Code of Utah
This Code, located in Title 23 of the Utah Code, governs all of the rules, violations and penalties for hunting and fishing wildlife in Utah. All of these laws are administered by the Wildlife Board and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.
Chapter 25 of the Wildlife Resources Code also requires interstate compact. The Wildlife Violator Compact provides that other nearly three dozen other states will enforce wildlife violations that occurred in Utah. Therefore, if you reside in another state, but committed an offense while hunting or fishing in Utah and your license was revoked, your license may also be revoked in the state where you reside.
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Specific Wildlife Offenses in Utah
- Taking, Transporting, Selling or Purchasing Protected Wildlife – Utah Code § 23-20-3:
A person may not take, collect, import, transport, sell, remove, destroy, damage or purchase protected wildlife, and part of the wildlife, egg, or nest, or participate in a commercial hunting area or cooperative wildlife management unit, without permission from the Wildlife Board. Anyone who does so can be convicted of a class B misdemeanor.
- Taking Protected Wildlife While Trespassing – Utah Code § 23-20-3.5:
A person may not take protected wildlife, the egg or nest of protected wildlife while trespassing on private property. This offense is punishable as a class B misdemeanor.
- Wanton Destruction of Protected Wildlife – Utah Code § 23-20-4:
This act occurs if a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly captures, injures or destroys protected wildlife, commits the offense at night with a weapon, acts with financial gain, has had their hunting license revoked, or intentionally abandons protected wildlife. This offense is punishable as a third degree felony, or a class A or B misdemeanor, depending on the value of wildlife. This offense can often be referred to as poaching.
- Entry on Private Land While Hunting or Fishing – Utah Code § 23-20-14:
Anyone who enters private land while taking wildlife or engaging in wildlife related activities without the permission of the owner, refuses to leave the property when requested, or obstructs any entrance to the property may have their license revoked for committing the offense.
- Interference with Hunting – Utah Code § 23-20-29:
Anyone who intentionally disrupts the legal hunt of a person lawfully licensed to hunt by purposefully driving, harassing or disturbing the species of wildlife may be found guilty of a class B misdemeanor.
- Aiding or Assisting a Wildlife Violation – Utah Code § 23-20-23:
If anyone aids or assists another person in the commission of a violation of the Wildlife Resources Code of Utah, they can be punished with the same penalty as if they had actually committed the offense.
- Captivity of Protected Wildlife – Utah Code § 23-13-4:
Anyone who holds protected wildlife in captivity without permission of the Wildlife Board can be convicted of a class B misdemeanor.
- Importation or Exportation and Release of Wildlife – Utah Code § 23-13-5:
It is against the law to import or export any live native or exotic wildlife from Utah and to possess or release from captivity these animals. This violation is punishable as a class B misdemeanor.
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Penalties for Wildlife Violations in Utah
The basic minimum penalties for many wildlife violations are listed below; however, these penalties may increase depending on the type of wildlife involved in the offense and whether the offender has previously been convicted of wildlife violations.
- Class B Misdemeanors – These offenses can result in up to six months imprisonment and/or fines up to $1,000.
- Class A Misdemeanors – This degree of offense can result in imprisonment not exceeding one year and/or fines not more than $2,500.
- Third Degree Felonies – This type of felony can incur five years imprisonment and/or fines not exceeding $5,000.
Additional penalties for wildlife violations can include permanent or temporary loss of a hunting or fishing license and privileges, forfeiture of hunting equipment, or restitution for the value of the wildlife or damage from the violation.
Restitution payments for trophy animals in Utah can be as much as $30,000. These payments go into a state fund, the Help Stop Poaching Fund, dedicated to catching and convicting poachers by rewarding hunters who report illegal poaching activity.
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Salt Lake City Resources for Wildlife Violations
Utah Division of Wildlife Resources – This state governmental agency, also known as DWR, manages and protects the state’s wildlife and conserves wildlife habitat. One of the primary goals of DWR is to enforce the Wildlife Resources Code of Utah. The main office is located at:
1594 W. North Temple
Salt Lake City, Utah 84114
Phone: (801) 538-4745
Utah Department of Natural Resources – This state governmental agency, also known as the DNR, ensures Utah’s quality of life by managing and protecting the state’s natural resources. The department is comprised of seven divisions, including the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Utah Bureau of Criminal Identification – This state bureau is a branch of the Utah Department of Public Safety and provides information on concealed firearms, including how to obtain a permit and certified firearm instructors. The Bureau of Criminal Identification is located at:
Bureau of Criminal Identification
3888 W. 5400 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84118
Phone: (801) 965-4445
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Levitt Legal, PLLC | Utah Wildlife Violation Defense Attorney
Contact Darren Levitt of Levitt Legal to discuss the details of your particular wildlife violation in Salt Lake City, Utah. Darren Levitt will make every effort to help you avoid severe repercussions and punishments to your alleged offense. Contact the law office of Levitt Legal at (801) 455-1743 for a consultation about your wildlife violation in Salt Lake County and the surrounding counties, including Box Elder, Tooele, Utah, Cache, Weber, Summit, Davis and Wasatch Counties in Utah.