Poaching is a serious crime. There are many local, state and federal laws that regulate hunting in Mississippi and across the nation. If you plan on hunting this season or at any time throughout the year, it’s essential to learn the local, state and federal laws relating to wildlife in your area. If you’re unfamiliar with the laws, you could unwittingly commit a misdemeanor or felony crime of poaching. Even hunting legal game during the wrong time of year can get you slapped with criminal charges, so if you’re facing any kind of poaching charges or related criminal charges associated with hunting wildlife, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area immediately.
Fines and Jail Time
Especially where larger game or protected wildlife is concerned, if convicted of poaching, you could be facing very expensive fines, and even jail or prison time. While many people might think it’s crazy to go to prison simply for killing a wild animal, depending upon the species, time of year or other circumstances related to your case, you could be in for a lengthy sentence, if convicted. Hunting and poaching federally protected wildlife can land you in particularly hot water. Not only could you potentially lose your hunting privileges, you could possibly do time in a federal correctional facility. It won’t make a difference if you’re a first time offender or if you have an otherwise spotless criminal record. The state and federal government take poaching and other hunting-related infractions very seriously.
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Poaching can cover a wide variety of different hunting situations. One of the most common forms of poaching is hunting out of season. If you’re hunting deer or some other legal type of game, out of season, you could be facing poaching charges. This is why it is so important to get properly licensed to hunt and know the various rules and regulations in your area. Nobody should face misdemeanor or felony charges just because he or she is unfamiliar with the local laws and hunting seasons. Call your local fish and wildlife office, so you don’t get in a bind during the off-season.
What About Protected Wildlife?
Shooting or killing state or federally protected wildlife will get you charged with poaching. Birds of prey, certain bears and other endangered or protected animals should never be hunted. If you’re arrested for or charged with poaching or hunting these protected or endangered animals, expect to have pretty serious penalties, if convicted. The federal government will throw the book at anybody convicted of poaching federally protected wildlife. If you’re in any way implicated in poaching of protected or endangered species, you need to contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your case.
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The State of Mississippi has many laws and regulations associated with hunting. Hunters should be licensed and ensure they are in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations to ensure they don’t make the mistake of hunting out of season or accidently mistaking endangered or protected species with other more readily available and legal hunting game. Poaching, hunting out of season, illegally hunting or fishing on public or private lands and other types of violations can leave hunters with criminal charges and potentially damaging penalties. With many criminal charges associated with hunting, there is the very real possibility of expensive fines. We’re talking in the thousands to tens of thousands. In certain cases, you could also be facing jail or prison time.
Violation of Federal Wildlife Laws
Violating federal wildlife laws can be particularly devastating for the accused. These aren’t simple misdemeanors. If convicted of violating a federal wildlife law, you will most likely be facing serious time in a federal correctional facility. A felony conviction on your record can impact your ability to make a living, rent or apply for loans and get on with your future after your time has been served. The implications of a poaching charge can be devastating and long lasting, so if you’ve been charged, contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Poaching charges, while not the traditional criminal charge, can still have very serious ramifications if convicted. Hunters in Jackson and other surrounding Metro Area Mississippi communities should contact their local fish and wildlife offices to ensure they’re up to date with all current licensing and local hunting regulations. If you have been arrested and charged with poaching or if a loved one has been charged with a similar or related criminal hunting charge, contact the skilled and experienced criminal defense team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation.