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California Professional License Defense Attorney

We defend licensed professionals in California

California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Attorney

CDFW License Defense Lawyer

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, known as the CDFW, issues and regulates numerous licenses in the State of California. The primary licenses issued by CDFW are Fishing Licenses and Hunting Licenses. Most CDFW licensees have minimal or no contact with the enforcement arm of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. For Licensees who become part of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife disciplinary process, the consequences are profound. The CDFW License disciplinary process is complex, procedural and time consuming. Licensees facing the California Department of Fish and Wildlife disciplinary process should seek legal representation from an experienced California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Attorney.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issues the following types of licenses and permits:

  • Aquaculture Registration
  • Biological Supply House Permit
  • CDFW Lands Pass
  • CESA Incidental Take Permit
  • Commercial Fishing License
  • Commercial Hunting Club License
  • (Dead) Dreissenid Mussel Permit
  • Domesticated Game Breeder License
  • Falconry License
  • Fallow Deer Farming Permit
  • Fish Business License
  • Fish Exchange Permit
  • Fish Importers License
  • Fish Receivers License
  • Fish Processors License
  • Fish Wholesalers License
  • Fisheries Branch Research
  • Fisherman’s Retail Permit
  • Fishing License
  • Game Bird Club License
  • Guide License (Hunting or Fishing)
  • Hunting License
  • Indian Game Transportation Tag
  • Lifetime Fishing License
  • Lifetime Hunting License
  • Native Reptile Captive Propagation Breeding Permit
  • Oil Spill Cleanup Agent License
  • Plant Collecting Permit
  • Restricted Species Permit
  • Salmon Vessel Permit
  • Scientific Collecting Permit
  • Southern Rock Crab Trap Permit
  • Trapping License
  • Tug Escort License
  • Vessel Restricted Access Permit

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Investigation Defense Lawyer

The majority of California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigations begin with the filing of a consumer Complaint. However, California Department of Fish and Wildlife Investigations also occur through sting operations, criminal conviction referrals and criminal investigations. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife utilizes non sworn civilian investigators to conduct non criminal investigations. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife employs sworn Peace Officer Investigators (Game Wardens) to conduct criminal investigations against Licensees. These employees investigate criminal and administrative law violations. Administrative Law Due Process Rights differ substantially from the Due Process Rights accorded in criminal law.

It is important to have an attorney that understands the California Department of Fish and Wildlife disciplinary process. At the conclusion of a California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigation, the Department has several options. The Department can choose to close the Complaint. The Department can choose to issue a Citation. The Department can also choose to refer the matter to the CDFW Legal Office. The CDFW Legal Office will determine whether cause exists to file a formal disciplinary Accusation. In cases involving criminal conduct, the Department may refer the case to the local District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. If you are a licensee facing a California Department of Fish and Wildlife investigation, contact a California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Attorney for representation.

CDFW Accusation Defense Attorney

A formal Accusation served on a California CDFW licensee serves as notice to a licensee that the Department intends to revoke the license. The licensee, now called the Respondent, has only 15 days from the date that the Accusation was served (not received, but served) to file a Notice of Defense. The failure to file a Notice of Defense results in a Default against the licensee. A Default will result in the immediate Revocation of the license.

An Accusation is a serious matter that can result in the suspension or revocation of a CDFW License in California. In many cases, it is possible for Licensees to reach a Stipulated Agreement with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A Stipulated Agreement is a formal term for a settlement agreement. If a Stipulated Agreement cannot be reached, the parties will proceed to a formal Hearing before the California Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). Licensees facing a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Accusation should contact an experienced California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Attorney for representation.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife Hearing Attorney

The California Office of Administrative Hearings, also known as OAH, maintains several Court Hearing locations. These Court locations are in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and San Diego. In some instances, Hearings may be held offsite in Bakersfield, Fresno, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Jose or Ventura. The Administrative Law Hearing is a formal Hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.

The Administrative Law Judge, or ALJ, will issue a written Proposed Decision approximately 30 days after the Hearing. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife can adopt, modify or reject the ALJ’s Proposed Decision. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife action is called the Final Decision and Order. There are two main rights of Appeal of a Final Decision and Order. California Government Code § 11521 allows a licensee to file a Petition for Reconsideration prior to the effective date of the Final Decision and Order. Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure § 1094.5, the licensee can also file a Petition for Writ of Mandamus in Superior Court. A Writ must be filed within 30 days of the effective date of the Final Decision and Order. California Licensees facing a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Administrative Law Hearing need effective representation from a California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Lawyer.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife License and Criminal Convictions

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife can discipline licensees for criminal convictions. California Department of Fish and Wildlife discipline occurs for criminal convictions that are substantially related to the duties, functions and qualifications of a licensee. Common criminal offenses that can cause CDFW License discipline are:

  • Altering or Forging a Prescription
  • Assault With a Deadly Weapon
  • Battery
  • Brandishing a Firearm
  • Burglary
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon
  • Child Abuse
  • Child Endangerment
  • Diverting a Controlled Substance
  • Domestic Violence
  • DUI
  • Elder Abuse
  • False Imprisonment
  • Forgery
  • Fraud
  • Hit & Run
  • Identity Theft
  • Insurance Fraud
  • Medicare Fraud
  • Mortgage Fraud
  • Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance
  • Possession of a Controlled Substance
  • Public Intoxication
  • Real Estate Fraud
  • Robbery
  • Sex Offenses
  • Theft
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Vehicular Manslaughter

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other law enforcement agencies also investigate criminal conduct by Licensees in the course and scope of their practice. Criminal investigations often involve Licensees engaged in Violations of the California Fish & Game Code. In serious criminal cases against Licensees pending in Criminal Court, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the CDFW’s Legal Office may seek a California Penal Code § 23 Order against the licensee. A California Penal Code § 23 Order seeks to suspend a CDFW License in Criminal Court.

Licensees facing criminal charges and Licensees who are convicted of criminal offenses need an experienced California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Attorney for representation in disciplinary proceedings before the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

CDFW Statement of Issues Attorney

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife thoroughly investigates all applicants for CDFW Licenses. Most California Department of Fish and Wildlife denials occur due to criminal convictions, financial problems or misstatements on the license application. Statement of Issues Hearings and Accusation Hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings maintain a similar procedure. However, in a Statement of Issues Hearing, the applicant bears the burden of proof. Individuals denied a CDFW License should contact a California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Denial Lawyer for representation in a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Statement of Issues Hearing.