Michigan hunting violations may be more serious than you think
Spring turkey hunting season is almost here in Michigan, which means many Michigan residents are enjoying one of their favorite times of the year.
Whether you are new to hunting or have been engaging in this beloved Michigan tradition for many years, it is important to understand the penalties for hunting violations. Some of them can be rather serious.
Yes, you can go to jail for a hunting violation
You may never guess that you could wind up in jail for a hunting violation, but you can. In fact, there are several types of hunting violations that come with potential jail time.
You must have a permit to hunt and follow laws surrounding where and when you can hunt and how to properly bag and remove game. Violating any of these laws could result in up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.
Many hunters enjoy having a drink or two after a day of hunting but carrying a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. If you are going to drink alcohol, do not do it before going out hunting or while you are hunting, or you face similar penalties.
When you could lose your hunting license
The penalties become much more severe for illegally taking a deer, bear or wild turkey. You could not only face a fine of up to $1,000 and 90 days in jail, but you could also be required to pay an additional amount in restitution for the animal.
Additionally, you could lose your hunting license for the remainder of the year and up to 3 years after.
You might think that one violation is no big deal, and with a strong criminal defense you could receive just a fine, or have the violation dismissed.
Penalties increase with multiple violations
However, multiple hunting violation convictions can cost you. Hunters with 3 convictions within the last five years could receive a fine of up to $2,000 and up to 6 months in jail.
You may be charged with a hunting violation when you had no intent to break the law, such as if you are caught hunting outside of legal hours. An attorney with knowledge of hunting violations can help.