Although reports show that the popularity of deer hunting has declined in recent years, it remains a very popular pastime in Michigan. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, more than 540,000 deer hunters went into the wild in 2019, spending more than 7.4 days in the field, and taking about 364,000 deer.
With that much hunting going on, it makes sense that the state needs a healthy set of regulations to keep the hunters safe and the deer population stable. However, these regulations can sometimes be quite confusing and strict.
Penalties for hunting violations
Under Michigan law, the penalties for hunting violations can be harsh. Violations of permits, seasons, shooting hours, bag limits, methods of taking game — some of the most common violations — carry fines of from $50 to $500 and/or up to 90 days in jail. Many offenses require mandatory jail time. Carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol carries a fine of $500 and/or a sentence of up to 93 days in jail.
Penalties are especially tough for repeat offenders. A person who has three convictions for hunting violation charges within five years could face a fine of from $500 to $2,000 and a jail sentence of at least 10 days and up to as many as 180 days behind bars.
Defending against hunting violation charges
Hunters must take these regulations and potential penalties seriously, and they are wise to get serious about defending against them. Merely paying a ticket on hunting violation charges can be considered as an admission of guilt for a criminal offense. All those accused of these violations have the right to a legal defense.
A lawyer with experience in hunting and fishing violation law can help hunters understand their options for defending their rights. Here at the Law Office of John Freeman, we not only defend hunters and fishers, but we are hunters and fishers ourselves. We can help.