Best Defense for Washington Unlawful Recreational Fishing Charge

If you have been charged with Unlawful Recreational Fishing in Cascade District Court, Evergreen District Court, or anywhere else in Snohomish County, Washington, you are probably wondering what exactly Unlawful Recreational Fishing is and how a conviction can affect your life.

There are two degrees of Recreational Fishing violations. Both are non-felony criminal offenses. First, Unlawful Recreational Fishing in the First Degree (RCW 77.15.370) is a gross misdemeanor offense which means, if convicted, you could be facing a sentence of up to 364 days of jail imposed and a $5000 fine. You can be charged with Unlawful Recreational Fishing in the 1st degree if: (1) you take, possess, or retain two times or more than the bag limit or possession limit of fish or shellfish allowed by any rule of the director or commission setting the amount of food fish, game fish, or shellfish that can be taken, possessed, or retained for noncommercial use; (2) you fish in a fishway; (3) you shoot, gaff, snag, snare, dipnet, or stone fish or shellfish in state waters, or possess fish or shellfish taken by such means, unless such means are authorized by express rule of the commission or director; (4) you fish for or possess a fish listed as threatened or endangered unless fishing for or possession of such fish is specifically allowed under federal or state law; or (5) you possess a sturgeon measuring in excess of the maximum size limit.

Second, Unlawful Recreational Fishing in the Second Degree (RCW 77.15.380) is a misdemeanor offense which means, if convicted, you could be facing a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. You can be charged with Unlawful Recreational Fishing in the 2nd Degree if you fish for, take, possess, or harvest fish or shellfish and either do not have and possess the license or catch record card required under law or your action violates a rule regarding seasons, bag or possession limits (but is less than two times the limit), closed areas, closed times, or any other rule addressing the manner or method of fishing or possession of fish (except the use of a net which is covered in RCW 77.15.580 and the unlawful use of shellfish gear for personal use which is covered in RCW 77.15.382).

Aside from the potential jail and fine consequences, there are additional fishing license consequences that may apply in your case. If you have three recreational fishing or hunting violations within a ten-year period, your fishing and hunting privileges will be revoked for two years (RCW 77.15.700).

If you have been charged with Unlawful Recreational Fishing in Arlington, Monroe, Cascade District Court, Evergreen District Court, or elsewhere in Snohomish County or Washington State contact me, experienced fish and wildlife defense attorney Lance R. Fryrear today. I have over ten years of experience as a Snohomish County Criminal Defense Attorney and my client testimonials speak for themselves.

Contact Snohomish County unlawful recreational fishing defense attorney Lance R. Fryrear today for your free consultation. I am here to help.

Categories: Fish and Wildlife