Defense for Wildlife Violations in Colorado

Colorado is one of the most favored locations for hunters and fishermen, due to the abundance of wildlife, including deer, elk, moose, bighorn sheep, and various game fish. While the region is ideal for hunting and fishing, many federal and state laws restrict the actions of those who are hunting or fishing in the area.

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Lacey Act Violations and Penalties

Federal lawmakers enacted the Lacey Act in 1900 to stop the practice of taking, possessing, transporting, or selling wildlife in a manner that violates tribal Indian law, or violates interstate or foreign commerce. The goal of the law was to halt the trafficking of engendered species. This was the first law ever enacted to protect certain wildlife, with civil and criminal penalties imposed on those who are alleged to have violated the Act. The types of violations can include:

  • Trafficking wildlife
  • Illegal hunts, including by guides or outfitting services
  • Intentional falsification of paperwork re exporting, importing, or transportation
  • Poaching game with the intention to sell
  • Airborne hunting

The penalties imposed in a violation can be extremely severe, including:

Misdemeanor Violations

  • A maximum civil fine of up to $10,000
  • Imprisonment up to one year
  • Property seizure
  • Hunting license revocation
  • Suspension of a license to operate an outfitting company

Felony Violations

  • A maximum fine of $20,000
  • Imprisonment up to five years
  • Property seizure
  • Hunting license revocation
  • Suspension of a license to operate an outfitting company

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The Lacey Act and You

In many cases, those accused of violating the Lacey Act made an unintentional error, rather than knowingly committing a crime. A hunter or fisherman accused by a game warden or other official of violating this law may make the mistake of trying to explain what occurred. It is vital to ensure your rights and interests are protected by a wildlife attorney in Colorado before making any statements to the authorities. Exercise your right to remain silent, and your right to an attorney.

The individuals who may be in a dangerous legal position regarding the Lacey Act include:

  • Hunting and Fishing Guides
  • Hunting Outfitters
  • Hunters killing game on federal land
  • Hunters killing game on Indian reservations
  • Hunters killing game in a National Wildlife Reserve
  • Hunting with an unlicensed outfitter
  • Those engaged in unlawful party hunting
  • Those who fail to tag game before crossing state lines
  • Those who accept wild game meat from an illegally killed animal
  • Those who transport illegally taken game across a state border
  • Those who fail to test for Chronic Wasting Disease before transporting an animal across state lines

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The Right Attorney – It Matters

If you are accused of any violation of the Lacey Act, you need to be represented by a wildlife lawyer who has extensive experience defending the accused in this specific area of federal law. At Welsh Law, LLC, our legal team is knowledgeable, trustworthy, professional, and genuinely cares about the people we represent. We are proud of our track record in wildlife cases, both in pleas to reduce the level of the charge and penalties and achieving an acquittal at trial. Lacey Act violations can bring very serious penalties, and you deserve every chance for a successful defense.

We take a strategic approach in defending clients accused of these serious federal law violations, with a focus on identifying any factor that could mitigate the damage to your reputation, freedom, and financial health. Our lawyers could craft a compelling case for the defense, argue your case persuasively, and negotiate to reduce or dismiss the charges, based on the facts.

Call our firm today at (720) 836-1777 to discuss your case – free 30 minute initial consultation.

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