Call WeedenLaw at 720-310-2141 to speak with an experienced Colorado wildlife law attorney.WeedenLaw wildlife attorneys defend hunters and anglers daily in Colorado and across the country in federal courts. Wildlife prosecutions of sportsmen are different from most other criminal prosecutions, and require attorneys with experience and competence the situations specific to defending hunting allegations, charges and prosecutions.Wildlife defendants face unique challenges that our wildlife lawyers handle every day. Whether fighting wildlife charges to get a deal you can live with or preparing to win at trial — WeedenLaw is focused on results. We have experience working with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) personnel and city, county and federal prosecutors regarding hunting violations across the state and the nation. If necessary, our investigators and experts can assist with defense and trial preparation of wildlife charges in Colorado and nationwide.
We represent folks facing all manner of federal violations, including alleged violations of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITIES).
“Jeff did an excellent job handling a very delicate matter for my business. His legal advice was quick and right on point. He was able to maintain a level of respect and courtesy to all parties involved while firmly ensuring that my best interests were upheld.”
— Joe, Colorado outfitter
What States Are Members Of The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact?
The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement wherein participating states recognize suspensions of hunting, fishing and trapping licenses in other member states. Put simply, illegal activities in one member state may affect your hunting or fishing rights in all participating states. Currently, 45 states are members of this compact. Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska and New Jersey are the only remaining states that are not members. (Though Nebraska is not technically a member state, they do have a law stating that those under suspension or revocation in any other state are also suspended from purchasing a permit within Nebraska.) To further understand how this compact may influence your case, call WeedenLaw and receive a free consultation.
Wildlife Compact Member States: Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Wyoming.
Wildlife Compact Non-Member States: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey.
Recent wildlife violation trial results (does not guarantee future results):
Colorado Parks and Wildlife License Privilege Suspension Hearing (Denver Headquarters, violations in Adams County):
- Suspension hearing triggered by the disposition of a criminal case disposition alleging Felony Forgery of Government-issued documents and Failure to Attend Education course.
- Result: No suspension of hunting or fishing privileges.
Trial in Delta County for charges of:
- 33-6-107(3) Did unlawfully have in possession/take wildlife (to wit: one 4×4 bull elk)
- 33-6-109(3) Did unlawfully take one bull elk without a proper and valid license
- 33-6-107(7) Did unlawfully use another person’s lawfully acquired license
- 33-6-125 Did unlawfully possess a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle (to wit: 7mm Rem Mag)
- Trial result allowed client to retain full hunting and fishing rights.
Trial in Rio Blanco County for charges of:
- 33-6-116 Did unlawfully enter upon private property to hunt without permission
- 33-6-109(3) Did unlawfully take one bull elk without a proper and valid license
- 33-6-109(3.4)(A) Did unlawfully have in possession one bull elk without a proper and valid license (To wit: one six-point bull elk)
- 33-6-119(1) Pursuit of Wounded Game – Waste of edible game wildlife – Use of wildlife as bait (M).
- All charges either dismissed, or found not guilty by jury, at trial.
We have defended these charges (and more):
- Hunting Without a License
- Illegal Taking (Unlawful Taking)
- Illegal Possession (Unlawful Possession)
- Failure to Dress (Waste of Wildlife)
- Suspension Hearing Preparation and Representation (Before the State Hearing Examiner)
- Mid-Suspension Review under C.R.S. 33-6-106(9) (H.B. 1330) Hearing Preparation and Representation (Before the Parks and Wildlife Commission)
- Trespassing (Hunting and Agricultural)
- Firearm Violations (including Menacing)
- Outfitting Violations
- Federal Wildlife Violations
- Lacey Act Violations
- Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact Issues
- Illegal Transfer of a License
- Firearm Violations
- Illegal Outfitting
Q. How do Colorado license privilege points work and when do they drop off?
A. Points are relevant regarding possible suspension “in any consecutive five-year period.” Once a conviction is one day more than five years old it “drops off” regarding any possible points related to suspension of license privileges.
Q. What are the state of Colorado’s trespass laws?
A. According to Colorado State Law, landowner permission is required prior to entering or crossing private property, except while traveling on public roadways. Two sections of the Colorado Revised Statutes (CRS) apply to trespassing:
1) CRS 18-4-504 relates to “Third-Degree Trespass,” which constitutes a petty offense, misdemeanor or felony depending upon the classification of the property involved, and the circumstances of the trespass. This statute requires a Court Appearance. Upon conviction, fines can range from $50 to $750 and can include a sentence in county jail. (Private property also does not necessarily have to be posted in order for trespass laws to be enforced.)
2) CRS 33-6-116 relates to trespass while engaged in the act of hunting. The penalty for violating this statute is a fine of $137 and possible jail time. In addition, 20 hunting license “Points” are assessed (when 20 or more “Points” are accumulated during a five-year period, the state Wildlife Commission may suspend your hunting and fishing privileges for up to five years). Some other pertinent state laws:
- CRS 33-6-125 forbids loaded firearms in motor vehicles. Penalty is $68 fine plus 15 points.
- CRS 33-6-123 forbids hunting while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Penalty is a Court Summons and 20 points.
- CRS 33-6-119 (2) regards waste of edible portions of wildlife. For big game, the penalty is a $411 fine and 15 points.
- CRS 33-6-126 forbids shooting from, or releasing an arrow from or across a public road. Fine is $68 and 5 points.
Source: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management
NOTE: Trespassing is a considered a “strict liability” crime in Colorado meaning that regardless of how or why you are trespassing you will be charged with a crime. You need an experienced wildlife attorney to help you navigate these challenging situations. Call WeedenLaw at 720-310-2141 to speak with an experienced wildlife law attorney about your trespassing-related questions.
A recent change in policy for reciprocal suspension in Colorado following suspensions in other Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact States
The State Hearing Examiner’s office and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are reviewing current policy and procedures, in reference to reciprocal suspensions under the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact to now include suspensions for: “All Privileges,” “Hunting Only” or “Fishing Only.” In the past a suspension of any kind by an Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact State resulted in a reciprocal suspension of all wildlife privileges in Colorado, both hunting and fishing. We at WeedenLaw have successfully petitioned the State Hearing Examiner for a partial suspension in Colorado. For example, a sportsman’s right to hunt big game was suspended in an Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact State, and his hunting and fishing rights were then reciprocally suspended in Colorado; however we were able to petition the State Hearing Examiner and have his fishing rights restored. The State Hearing Examiner and Colorado Parks and Wildlife are currently drafting regulations regarding this process. Call WeedenLaw at 720-310-2141 to discuss your Interstate Wildlife Compact situation.
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