Colorado does not allow the baiting of deer, elk, or other big game. But what counts as baiting and does it only apply to hunters?
Receiving a ticket for fishing on private property can be a frustrating situation. Often it is merely a mistake and no real harm was intended and indeed, you may not have even caught a fish, but still receive the violation. If you receive a fishing violation in Colorado for fishing on private property without permission, you need to speak with an attorney before paying the fine and pleading guilty.
The particular statute governing fishing on private property reads:
C.R.S. 33-6-116. Hunting, trapping, or fishing on private property: (1) It is unlawful for any person to enter upon privately owned land or lands under the control of the state board of land commissioners to hunt or take any wildlife by hunting, trapping, or fishing without first obtaining permission from the owner or person in possession of such land.
Trespassing in Colorado, whether for fishing, hunting, or trapping, results in 20 license suspension points. 20 or more license suspension points in a five year period results in a hearing before the Wildlife Commission and possibly, loss of your hunting, fishing and trapping privileges for the coming seasons. In essence, a violation for fishing on private property could put your elk hunt this fall in jeopardy.
If you are on private property, you may wonder how the Colorado Parks and Wildlife officer who issued you the fishing ticket got out there without permission. CPW officers are allowed onto private property to investigate fishing, hunting, or trapping offenses without permission of the landowner. There are limits to this power, but CPW officers are given a wide authority on enforcing wildlife statutes. Additionally, you still have defenses available even if the officer is allowed to be there such as your 4th Amendment rights against unlawful search and seizure. An attorney can help you determine any defenses that may be available to you.
Finally, trespassing in Colorado is a strict liability crime. Essentially, it does not matter whether you meant to or not. Trespassing is an offense regardless of if you crossed onto private property purposefully, or “with intent.” Again though, this does not mean that just because an officer says you were trespassing, that you do not have defenses to this accusation. How was the location determined? Where was the officer when he/she saw you allegedly trespass? Is there evidence to the contrary?
If you receive a fishing violation for fishing on private property in Colorado, The Law Office of Nathaniel Gilbert will help review your case and provide a free consultation. You have nothing to lose by calling an attorney and getting help deciding what your best options will be. Often, fishing violations are able to be handled for a flat fee with no lengthy hourly billings. Before you just pay the fine and plead guilty, think ahead and talk with an attorney—Your elk hunting buddies will thank you.
Driving Under the Influence, or DUI in Colorado is a traffic offense, Title 42. This is significant, because the Colorado Department of Revenue and the Department of Motor Vehicles maintain jurisdiction over these charges. However, “Boating Under the Influence,” is NOT codified in the traffic code but rather under the Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Title 33. What does this mean for Colorado boaters accused of a “B”UI?
A big distinction between BUI and DUI law is that of the actual “vessel” which the individual is accused of operating under the influence. For BUI, the statute does not require that the vessel have an engine of any kind. This leaves the possibility open that an impaired pilot of a craft such as a canoe, kayak, paddleboard, or raft built from twigs and rope can be arrested and charged with Boating Under the Influence.
Additionally, the law for BUI states that any owner or operator of a vessel who knowingly allows the craft to come under the control of someone who is impaired can also be charged with BUI. This section of the laws on boating under the influence covers the common situation where multiple passengers are allowed to operate the boat.
Sentencing for Boating Under the Influence can vary, but the statutes state that anyone convicted for a first offense shall be imprisoned in the county jail for at least five (5) days but never for more than a year. This sentence can be suspended if your attorney and the prosecutor are able to work out an plea bargain where you would complete a substance abuse treatment course or program. This is not an option with all cases though, and should be discussed with your attorney prior to accepting any kind of plea offer from the State.
Colorado Fishing Violations may seem small and fishermen and anglers may be tempted to plead guilty and pay the fines. However, the violations could have serious impacts on your ability to hunt in the fall depending on the number of points you will receive on your hunting license. Hunting and Fishing Violation Attorney Nathaniel Gilbert can help you evaluate your case and find your best route back in the field.