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Poaching Law & Defense
FG 2000 – 2002 Law, Sentence, & Defense

The laws on the crimes of poaching and unlawful animal possession of game animals are found at California Fish & Game sections 2000, 2001, and 2002.

Poaching, under FG 2000, is defined as the illegal hunting, killing, or capturing of wild animals.


The crime of unlawful possession or taking of a game animal or creature (FG 2001) is often charged in conjunction with poaching charges.

To be found guilty of the crime of poaching under FG 2000, the district attorney must prove that the defendant knew he or she was on protected land and that while on protected land the defendant killed, hunted, or captured a wild animal without a license, or during the off-season.

Note: Often times it is difficult to prove FG 2000, or to show that the defendant is the person who actually killed, hunted or captured a protected animal. This is because the defendant is usually caught after the fact of the killing, hunting, or capturing, and often times the defendant is with several other hunters. Therefore, the district attorney will usually charge FG 2001, or 2002, unlawful possession of game animal or creature, along with the FG 2000 charges.


Jail: Both poaching and unlawful possession of game animal or creature are charged as misdemeanors. If found guilty of FG 2000 - 2002 charges the defendant may face up to one hundred eighty (18) days in the county jail.

Probation: A probation sentence is a period of supervision as opposed to a jail sentence. Probation sentences are allowed in FG 2000, 2001, and 2002 cases, but they are not guaranteed. Whether or not a probation sentence is granted to a defendant after a poaching conviction depends on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history (among other factors).

Work Release: Work release is form of manual labor that is intended to serve as an alternative to an actual jail sentence. Work release sentences are common conditions of probation in FG 2000 & 2002 cases. Other alternatives to jail include community service and house arrest.

Conduct Credits: Jail and work release sentences may be reduced by up to fifty percent if the defendant behaves well while serving that sentence.  

Bail: $5,000 for (FG 2000, 2001, & 2002)


Note: Bail is an amount of money or property posted with the court that is intended to serve as assurance that the defendant will appear as ordered to face prosecution or forfeit his or her money or property. Bail is usually handled through a bail agent, but it is possible to post bail directly with the court and save the bail agent fees. In some cases concerning poaching or unlawful possession of game animal, a defendant may be release from custody without the need for bail (Own Recognizance Release).

Additional punishment can include: fines, restraining orders, harsh probation terms, restitution, civil lawsuits, criminal protective orders (CPS), and more.


Common defenses to poaching crimes include: insufficient evidence to prove the defendant is the person who actually killed the animal subject to protection, mistake of fact, coerced confessions, statute of limitations, lack of jurisdiction, insanity, and more.

If you are charged with poaching or unlawful taking or possession of game animal or creature under FG 2000, 2001, or 2002, contact our criminal defense attorneys today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys dedicate 100% of their practice to criminal defense and our office is available seven days a weekto answer all of your question In addition, a criminal defense attorney may defend against the poaching or unlawful possession of game animal or creature without the defendant having to attend court.s. Call today!


Quick Legal Reference​

Crime: Unlawful Possession of Game Animal

Code: FG 2001

Wobbler: No. FG 2001 is not a wobbler. FG 2001 is only charged as a misdemeanor.​


Incarceration: ​FG 2001 jail sentence up to 180 days.

Probation: Probation may be available in FG 2001 cases (assuming other crimes or enhancements that might bar a probation sentence are not present). Whether or not a probation sentence is offered by the District Attorney, or granted by the court, depends on several factors, including the defendant's criminal history and the facts of the case.​

Work Release or House Arrest: In some cases, a probation sentence can include actual in-custody county jail, house arrest (electronic monitoring), or work release (or some combination of these penalties); however, most in-custody jail sentence orders that are required as a terms of probation are much shorter than the maximum jail sentence.

Strike: FG 2001 is not a strike offense listed in California's Three Strikes law.

Credits: 50% good conduct credits available.


Bail: $5,000 (San Bernardino County)

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Criminal Defense Lawyers

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