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Minnesota

Minnesota Statutes Annotated. Game and Fish (Ch. 97-102). Chapter 97A. Game and Fish. Penalties

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: MN ST 97A.301 - 345

Citation: M. S. A. 97A.301 - 345


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2013

Summary:   These Minnesota statutes pertain to criminal sanctions for violations of fish and game laws. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if s/he takes, buys, sells, transports or possesses a wild animal in violation of the laws. A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the person knowingly disregards no trespassing signs or trespasses after being notified not to trespass. It is also a gross misdemeanor to violate provisions relating to buying or selling fur-bearers, deer, bear, moose, elk, or caribou, fishing with illegal methods, and transporting animals over the limit.  A gross misdemeanor may be punished by a fine and/or imprisonment. A conviction will also result in the person’s hunting and/or fishing license being revoked.


Statute in Full:


PENALTIES
 
97A.301. General penalty provisions

97A.305. Impersonation of an enforcement officer

97A.311. Licenses

97A.315. Trespass

97A.321. Dogs pursuing or killing big game

97A.325. Penalties for unlawfully buying or selling wild animals

97A.331. Penalties related to hunting

97A.335. Penalties related to fishing

97A.338. Gross overlimits of wild animals; penalty

97A.341. Restitution for wild animals illegally taken

97A.345. Restitution value of wild animals



97A.301. General penalty provisions

 Subdivision 1. Misdemeanor. Unless a different penalty is prescribed, a person is guilty of a misdemeanor if that person:

(1) takes, buys, sells, transports or possesses a wild animal in violation of the game and fish laws;

(2) aids or assists in committing the violation;

(3) knowingly shares in the proceeds of the violation;

(4) fails to perform a duty or comply with a requirement of the game and fish laws;

(5) knowingly makes a false statement related to an affidavit regarding a violation of the game and fish laws; or

(6) violates or attempts to violate a rule under the game and fish laws.

Subd. 2. Gross misdemeanor. Unless a different penalty is prescribed, a person convicted of violating a provision of the game and fish laws that is defined as a gross misdemeanor is subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $3,000 and imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 90 days or more than one year.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 45. Amended by Laws 1991, c. 259, § 23, eff. July 1, 1992.

 

97A.305. Impersonation of an enforcement officer

A person that purports to be acting in an official capacity and causes another to be injured or defrauded while falsely impersonating an enforcement officer or other officer acting under authority of the game and fish laws, or falsely claiming to have special authority under those laws, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 46.

 

97A.311. Licenses

Subdivision 1. Alteration of a license. A person that alters a license in a material manner is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 2. False statement. A person that knowingly makes a false statement related to an application for a license, a license, or certificate, required by or issued under the game and fish laws, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 3. License agent violations. A license agent that knowingly issues a license to an ineligible person or predates a license is guilty of a misdemeanor.

Subd. 4. License agent suspension. In addition to other penalties, a license agent that violates a law or rule of the commissioner relating to license sales, handling, or accounting forfeits the right to sell and handle licenses for a period of one year.

Subd. 5. Refunds. (a) The commissioner may issue a refund on a license, not including any issuing fees paid under section 97A.485, subdivision 6, if the request is received within 90 days of the original license purchase and:

(1) the licensee dies before the opening of the licensed season. The original license and a copy of the death certificate must be provided to the commissioner;

(2) the licensee is unable to participate in the licensed activity because the licensee is called to active military duty or military leave is canceled during the entire open season of the licensed activity. The original license and a copy of the military orders or notice of cancellation of leave must be provided to the commissioner;

(3) the licensee purchased two licenses for the same license season in error; or

(4) the licensee was not legally required to purchase the license to participate in the activity.

(b) This subdivision does not apply to lifetime licenses.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 47. Amended by Laws 1987, c. 149, art. 1, § 21; Laws 1991, c. 259, § 23, eff. July 1, 1992; Laws 2004, c. 255, § 28, eff. July 1, 2004; Laws 2008, c. 368, art. 2, § 19, eff. July 1, 2008; Laws 2011, 1st Sp., c. 2, art. 5, § 23, eff. July 1, 2011. 


97A.315. Trespass

Subdivision 1. Criminal penalties. (a) A person that violates a provision of section 97B.001, relating to trespass is guilty of a misdemeanor except as provided in paragraph (b).

(b) A person is guilty of a gross misdemeanor if the person:

(1) knowingly disregards signs prohibiting trespass;

(2) trespasses after personally being notified by the landowner or lessee not to trespass; or

(3) is convicted of violating this section more than once in a three-year period.

Subd. 2. License revocations. (a) If a person is convicted of trespassing under subdivision 1 while exercising or attempting to exercise an activity licensed under the game and fish laws or requiring snowmobile registration under section 84.82, the applicable license and registration are null and void.

(b) A person convicted of a gross misdemeanor under subdivision 1, paragraph (b), may not be issued a license to take game for two years after the conviction.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 48. Amended by Laws 1987, c. 149, art. 1, § 22.

 


97A.321. Dogs pursuing or killing big game

Subdivision 1. Owner responsibility; penalty amount. The owner of a dog that pursues but does not kill or mortally wound a big game animal is subject to a civil penalty of $100 for each violation. The owner of a dog that kills or mortally wounds a big game animal is subject to a civil penalty of $500 for each violation.

Subd. 2. Appeals. Civil penalties under this section may be appealed according to procedures in section 116.072, subdivision 6, if the person requests a hearing by notifying the commissioner in writing within 15 days after receipt of the citation. If a hearing is not requested within the 15-day period, the civil penalty becomes a final order not subject to further review.

Subd. 3. Enforcement. Civil penalties under this section may be enforced according to section 116.072, subdivisions 9 and 10.

Subd. 4. Payment of penalty. Penalty amounts shall be remitted to the commissioner within 30 days of issuance of the penalty notice and shall be deposited in the game and fish fund.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 49. Amended by Laws 2006, c. 281, art. 2, § 27; Laws 2009, c. 176, art. 1, § 21, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2011, 1st Sp., c. 2, art. 5, § 24, eff. July 1, 2011.

 

97A.325. Penalties for unlawfully buying or selling wild animals

Subdivision 1. Gross misdemeanor for sales of $300 or more. (a) A person that buys or sells protected wild animals in violation of the game and fish laws where the sales total $300 or more is guilty of a gross misdemeanor. The person is subject to the penalty in section 97A.301, subdivision 2, except that the fine may not be less than $3,000 or more than $10,000.

(b) Licenses possessed by a person convicted under this subdivision are null and void and the person may not take wild animals for three years after the conviction.

Subd. 2. Deer; bear; moose; elk; caribou. Except as provided in subdivision 1, a person that violates a provision of the game and fish laws relating to buying or selling deer, bear, moose, elk, or caribou is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 3. Small game and game fish. Except as provided in subdivision 1, a person that buys or sells small game or game fish in violation of the game and fish laws where the sales total $50 or more is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 4. Fur-bearing animals. Except as provided in subdivision 1, a person that buys fur-bearing animals in violation of the game and fish laws is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 50. Amended by Laws 1987, c. 149, art. 1, § 23; Laws 1991, c. 254, art. 2, § 27.

 

97A.331. Penalties related to hunting

Subdivision 1. Hunting while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. A person that violates the provision of section 97B.065 relating to hunting while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 2. Shining. A person that violates section 97B.081, subdivision 1, relating to the use of an artificial light to locate wild animals is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 3. Transporting illegal big game. A person that knowingly transports big game taken in violation of the game and fish laws is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 4. Taking and possessing big game out of season. A person that takes or illegally possesses big game during the closed season is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 4a. Hunting big game while under revocation. Notwithstanding section 97A.421, subdivision 7, a person who takes big game during the time the person is prohibited from obtaining a license to take big game under section 97A.421 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 5. Moose; elk; caribou. A person that unlawfully takes, transports, or possesses moose, elk, or caribou in violation of the game and fish laws is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 6. Pine marten; otter; fisher; wolverine. A person that takes, transports, or possesses pine marten, otter, fisher, or wolverine in violation of the game and fish laws is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 7. Gray wolf. A person who takes, harasses, destroys, buys, sells, possesses, transports, or ships a gray wolf in violation of the game and fish laws is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 51. Amended by Laws 1987, c. 149, art. 1, § 24; Laws 2000, c. 463, § 4; Laws 2009, c. 176, art. 2, § 17, eff. July 1, 2009; Laws 2011, 1st Sp., c. 2, art. 5, § 25, eff. July 1, 2011. 


97A.335. Penalties related to fishing

Subdivision 1. Taking fish with illegal devices or substances. A person that takes fish with devices, chemicals or substances in violation of section 97C.325, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor.

Subd. 2. Illegally taking or possessing muskellunge. A person who takes or possesses a muskellunge in violation of the game and fish laws is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1986, c. 386, art. 1, § 52.

 

97A.338. Gross overlimits of wild animals; penalty

A person who takes, possesses, or transports wild animals over the legal limit, in closed season, or without a valid license, when the restitution value of the wild animals is over $1,000 is guilty of a gross overlimit violation. A violation under this section is a gross misdemeanor.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 2002, c. 270, § 4, eff. Mar. 1, 2003.

 


97A.341. Restitution for wild animals illegally taken

 Subdivision 1. Liability for restitution. A person who kills, injures, or possesses a wild animal in violation of the game and fish laws is liable to the state for the value of the wild animal as provided in this section. Species afforded protection include members of the following groups as defined by statute or rule: game fish, game birds, big game, small game, fur-bearing animals, minnows, and threatened and endangered animal species. Other animal species may be added by rule of the commissioner as determined after public meetings and notification of the chairs of the environment and natural resources committees in the senate and house of representatives.

Subd. 2. Arrest and charging procedure. (a) An enforcement officer who arrests a person for killing, injuring, or possessing a wild animal in violation of the game and fish laws must describe the number, species, and restitution value of wild animals illegally killed, injured, or possessed on the warrant or the notice to appear in court.

(b) As part of the charge against a person arrested for killing, injuring, or possessing a wild animal in violation of the game and fish laws, the prosecuting attorney must include a demand that restitution be made to the state for the value of the wild animal killed, injured, or possessed. The demand for restitution is in addition to the criminal penalties otherwise provided for the violation.

Subd. 3. Sentencing procedure. If a person is convicted of or pleads guilty to killing, injuring, or possessing a wild animal in violation of the game and fish laws, the court must require the person to pay restitution to the state for replacement of the wild animal as part of the sentence or state in writing why restitution was not imposed. The court may consider the economic circumstances of the person and, in lieu of monetary restitution, order the person to perform conservation work representing the amount of restitution that will aid the propagation of wild animals. If the court does not order a person to pay restitution, the court administrator must send a copy of the court order to the commissioner.

Subd. 4. Amount of restitution. The amount of restitution shall be determined by the court by a preponderance of the evidence. In determining the amount of restitution, the court must consider the value of the wild animal under section 97A.345.

Subd. 5. Restitution credited to game and fish fund. The court administrator shall forward restitution collected under this section to the commissioner of management and budget and the commissioner shall credit all money forwarded to the game and fish fund in the state treasury.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1989, c. 298, § 2, eff. Nov. 1, 1989. Amended by Laws 1991, c. 259, § 23, eff. July 1, 1992; Laws 2009, c. 101, art. 2, § 109, eff. July 1, 2009.

 


97A.345. Restitution value of wild animals

(a) The commissioner may, by rules adopted under chapter 14, prescribe the dollar value to the state of species of wild animals. The value may reflect the value to other persons to legally take the wild animal, the replacement cost, or the intrinsic value to the state of the wild animals. Species of wild animals with similar values may be grouped together.

(b) The value of a wild animal under the rules adopted by the commissioner is prima facie evidence of a wild animal's value under section 97A.341.

(c) The commissioner shall report annually to the legislature the amount of restitution collected under section 97A.341 and the manner in which the funds were expended.

CREDIT(S)

Laws 1989, c. 298, § 3, eff. May 27, 1989.

 

 



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