Download Zipped Introduced WP 6.1 HB0297.ZIP 9,870 Bytes
[Status][Bill Documents][Fiscal Note][Bills Directory]

H.B. 297





Sponsor: Gene Davis

10    This act affects sections of Utah Code Annotated 1953 as follows:
11    AMENDS:
12         23-20-4, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 1996
13         23-20-4.5, as last amended by Chapter 265, Laws of Utah 1996
14    Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
15        Section 1. Section 23-20-4 is amended to read:
16         23-20-4. Wanton destruction of protected wildlife -- Penalties.
17        (1) A person is guilty of wanton destruction of protected wildlife if he or she:
18        (a) commits an act in violation of Section 23-13-4, 23-13-5, 23-13-13, 23-15-6 through
19    23-15-9, 23-16-5, or Subsection 23-20-3(1);
20        (b) captures, injures, or destroys protected wildlife; and
21        (c) (i) does so with intentional, knowing, or reckless conduct as defined in Section
22    76-2-103;
23        (ii) intentionally abandons protected wildlife or a carcass;
24        (iii) commits the offense at night with the use of a weapon;
25        (iv) is under a court or division revocation of a license, tag, permit, or certificate of
26    registration; or
27        (v) acts for pecuniary gain.

1        (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to actions taken which are in accordance with the
2    following:
3        (a) Title 4, Chapter 14, Utah Pesticide Control Act;
4        (b) Title 4, Chapter 23, Agriculture and Wildlife Damage Prevention Act; or
5        (c) Section 23-16-3.
6        (3) Wanton destruction of wildlife is punishable:
7        (a) as a third degree felony if:
8        (i) the aggregate value of the protected wildlife determined by the values in Subsection
9    [23-20-4](4) is more than $500; or
10        (ii) a trophy animal was captured, injured, or destroyed;
11        (b) as a class A misdemeanor if the aggregate value of the protected wildlife, other than
12    any trophy animal, determined by the values established in Subsection 23-20-4(4) is more than
13    $250, but does not exceed $500; and
14        (c) as a class B misdemeanor if the aggregate value of the protected wildlife determined
15    by the values established in Subsection [23-20-4](4) is $250 or less.
16        (4) [Regardless of the restitution amounts imposed under Subsection 23-20-4.5(2), the]
17    The following values shall be assigned to protected wildlife for the purpose of determining the
18    offense for wanton destruction of wildlife:
19        (a) $1,000 per animal for:
20        (i) bison;
21        (ii) bighorn sheep;
22        (iii) rocky mountain goat;
23        (iv) moose;
24        (v) bear; [or]
25        (vi) cougar; or
26        [(vi)] (vii) endangered species;
27        (b) $750 per animal for:
28        (i) elk; [or]
29        (ii) deer;
30        (iii) pronghorn antelope;
31        (iv) bobcat;

- 2 -

1        (v) lynx; or
2        [(ii)] (vi) threatened species;
3        (c) $500 per animal for:
4        [(i) cougar;]
5        [(ii)] (i) golden eagle;
6        [(iii)] (ii) river otter; or
7        [(iv)] (iii) gila monster;
8        [(d) $400 per animal for:]
9        [(i) pronghorn antelope; or]
10        [(ii) deer;]
11        [(e) $350 per animal for bobcat;]
12        [(f)] (d) $100 per animal for:
13        (i) swan;
14        (ii) sandhill crane;
15        (iii) turkey;
16        (iv) pelican;
17        (v) loon;
18        (vi) egrets;
19        (vii) herons;
20        (viii) raptors, except those that are threatened or endangered;
21        (ix) Utah milk snake; [or]
22        (x) Utah mountain king snake; or
23        [(g) $35 per animal for] (xi) furbearers, except:
24        [(i)] (A) bobcat;
25        (B) lynx;
26        [(ii)] (C) river otter; and
27        [(iii)] (D) threatened or endangered species;
28        [(h)] (e) $15 per animal for game birds, except:
29        (i) turkey;
30        (ii) swan; and
31        (iii) sandhill crane;

- 3 -

1        [(i)] (f) $10 per animal for game fish;
2        [(j)] (g) $8 per pound dry weight of processed brine shrimp including eggs; and
3        [(k)] (h) $5 per animal for protected wildlife not listed.
4        (5) For purposes of sentencing for a wildlife violation, a person who has been convicted
5    of a third degree felony under Subsection (3)(a) is not subject to the mandatory sentencing
6    requirements prescribed in Subsection 76-3-203(4).
7        (6) As part of any sentence imposed, the court shall impose a sentence of incarceration of
8    not less than 20 consecutive days for any person convicted of a third degree felony under
9    Subsection (3)(a)(ii) who captured, injured, or destroyed a trophy animal for pecuniary gain.
10        (7) If a person has already been convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection
11    (3)(a)(ii) once, each separate further offense under Subsection (3)(a)(ii) is punishable by, as part
12    of any sentence imposed, a sentence of incarceration of not less than 20 consecutive days.
13        (8) The court may not sentence a person subject to Subsection (6) or (7) to less than 20
14    consecutive days of incarceration or suspend the imposition of the sentence unless the court finds
15    mitigating circumstances justifying lesser punishment and makes that finding a part of the court
16    record.
17        Section 2. Section 23-20-4.5 is amended to read:
18         23-20-4.5. Illegal taking, possession, or wanton destruction of protected wildlife --
19     Restitution -- Reimbursable damages -- Assessment by magistrates -- Disposition of monies.
20        (1) When a person is adjudged guilty of illegal taking, illegal possession, or wanton
21    destruction of protected wildlife, other than any trophy animal, the court [may] shall order the
22    defendant to pay restitution as set forth in Subsection (2), or a greater [or lesser] amount, for the
23    value of each animal taken, possessed, or destroyed[, unless the court finds that restitution is
24    inappropriate].
25        (2) [Suggested minimum] Minimum restitution values for protected wildlife are as
26    follows:
27        (a) $1,000 per animal for:
28        (i) bison;
29        (ii) bighorn sheep;
30        (iii) rocky mountain goat;
31        (iv) moose;

- 4 -

1        (v) bear; [or]
2        (vi) cougar; or
3        [(vi)] (vii) endangered species;
4        (b) $750 per animal for:
5        (i) elk; [or]
6        (ii) deer;
7        (iii) pronghorn antelope;
8        (iv) bobcat;
9        (v) lynx; or
10        [(ii)] (vi) threatened species;
11        (c) $500 per animal for:
12        [(i) cougar;]
13        [(ii)] (i) golden eagle;
14        [(iii)] (ii) river otter; or
15        [(iv)] (iii) gila monster;
16        [(d) $400 per animal for:]
17        [(i) pronghorn antelope; or]
18        [(ii) deer;]
19        [(e) $350 per animal for bobcat;]
20        [(f)] (d) $100 per animal for:
21        (i) swan;
22        (ii) sandhill crane;
23        (iii) turkey;
24        (iv) pelican;
25        (v) loon;
26        (vi) egrets;
27        (vii) herons;
28        (viii) raptors, that are threatened or endangered;
29        (ix) Utah milk snake; [or]
30        (x) Utah mountain king snake; or
31        [(g) $35 per animal for] (xi) furbearers, except:

- 5 -

1        [(i)] (A) bobcat;
2        (B) lynx;
3        [(ii)] (C) river otter; and
4        [(iii)] (D) threatened or endangered species;
5        [(h)] (e) $15 per animal for game birds, except:
6        (i) turkey;
7        (ii) swan; and
8        (iii) sandhill crane;
9        [(i)] (f) $10 per animal for game fish;
10        [(j)] (g) $8 per pound dry weight of processed brine shrimp including eggs; and
11        [(k)] (h) $5 per animal for protected wildlife not listed.
12        (3) If the court finds that restitution [is inappropriate or if the value] imposed [is less]
13    should be greater than the [suggested] minimum value as provided in Subsection (2), the court
14    shall make the reasons for the decision part of the record.
15        (4) The court shall order any person convicted of a third degree felony under Subsection
16    23-20-4(3)(a)(ii) to pay restitution. Minimum restitution values for trophy animals are as follows:
17        (a) $30,000 per animal for bighorn, desert, or rocky mountain sheep;
18        (b) $8,000 per animal for deer;
19        (c) $8,000 per animal for elk;
20        (d) $6,000 per animal for moose or mountain goat;
21        (e) $6,000 per animal for bison; and
22        (f) $2,000 per animal for pronghorn antelope.
23        (5) Any restitution shall be remitted to the division and deposited in the Wildlife
24    Resources Account.
25        (6) Restitution monies shall be used by the division for activities and programs to help stop
26    poaching, including:
27        (a) educational programs on wildlife crime prevention;
28        (b) acquisition and development of wildlife crime detection equipment;
29        (c) operation and maintenance of anti-poaching projects; and
30        (d) wildlife law enforcement training.
31        (7) If restitution is required it shall be in addition to:

- 6 -

1        (a) any other fine or penalty imposed for a violation of any provision of this title; and
2        (b) any remedial action taken to revoke or suspend a person's license, permit, tag, or
3    certificate of registration.
4        (8) A judgment imposed under this section constitutes a lien when recorded in the
5    judgment docket and shall have the same effect and is subject to the same rules as a judgment for
6    money in a civil action.

Legislative Review Note
    as of 1-30-97 11:27 AM

A limited legal review of this bill raises no obvious constitutional or statutory concerns.

Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel

- 7 -

[Bill Documents][Bills Directory]