Fish & Wildlife Charges in Olympia
We receive numerous calls each year from people who are surprised to learn that what they thought was merely a Fish & Wildlife ticket is actually a criminal charge. Many of these situations stem from an honest mistake like getting the wrong type of license (often due to the store’s mistake), using the wrong type of hook, the wrong size of catch, or straying into the wrong area, to just name a few. While it may not seem like a big deal to you, the Department of Fish & Wildlife Officers take these violations very seriously and they will make sure they recommend that you be charged with every possible charge possible to the prosecutor.
Fish & Wildlife laws can be very confusing to everyone, even those designated as master hunters. It is especially important to carefully review all regulations, licenses, and maps prior to going out and enjoying yourself. A conviction could result in jail, fines, probation, loss of hunting or fishing rights, and in some instances, a large statutory restitution amount.
Additionally, in some instances, the Department of Fish & Wildlife may attempt to seize your property and attempt to have you forfeit it. An example would be trying to take your truck which was allegedly used to transport an illegally killed animal. It is your responsibility to fight for your property and to request a hearing in a timely manner. You have certain deadlines to assert your rights. If you are late in demanding a hearing, you will have lost your right to fight for your property. This civil action is separate from the criminal case.
If you are facing a seizure action or a criminal charge, give our office a call. We will help you understand what you being charged with and what you can do to move forward.