California Department of Fish and Wildlife License Defense Lawyer
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife, known as CDFW, licenses Fisherman in the State of California. Most California Fisherman have minimal or no contact with the enforcement arm of CDFW. For Fisherman who become part of the CDFW’s disciplinary process, the consequences are profound. The Fishing License disciplinary process is complex, procedural and time consuming. Fisherman facing the CDFW disciplinary process should seek legal representation from an experienced California Fisherman License Defense Attorney.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife issues the following types of Fishing Licenses:
- Commercial Fish Business License
- Commercial Fishing License
- Commercial Passenger Fishing Boat License
- Fish Importation Permit
- Lifetime Fishing License
- Scientific Collecting Permit
- Sport Fishing License
California Department of Fish and Wildlife Investigation Defense Lawyer
The majority of CDFW investigations begin with the filing of a consumer Complaint. However, CDFW Investigations also occur through sting operations, criminal conviction referrals and criminal investigations. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife employs sworn Peace Officers (Game Wardens) and non sworn Enforcement Representatives. These CDFW 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 CDFW disciplinary process. At the conclusion of a CDFW investigation, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has several options. CDFW can choose to close the Complaint. CDFW can choose to issue a Citation. CDFW can also choose to refer the matter to the Department’s Legal Division. CDFW’s Legal Office will determine whether cause exists to file a formal disciplinary Accusation. In cases involving criminal conduct, CDFW may refer the case to the District Attorney’s Office for criminal prosecution. If you are a Fisherman facing a CDFW investigation, contact a California CDFW License Defense Attorney for representation.
California Fisherman License Accusation Defense Attorney
A formal Accusation served on a California Fisherman serves as notice to a Fisherman that CDFW intends to revoke the Fisherman License. The Fisherman, 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 Fisherman. A Default will result in the immediate Revocation of the Fishing License.
An Accusation is a serious matter that can result in the suspension or revocation of a Fishing License in California. In many cases, it is possible for Fisherman 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).
Fisherman facing a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Accusation should contact an experienced California Fishing License Defense Attorney for representation. Common causes of action for disciplinary Accusations against Fisherman include:
California Fishing License 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’s 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 Fishing 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 Fishing 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 Fisherman facing a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Administrative Law Hearing need effective representation from a California Fishing License Defense Lawyer.
California Fisherman License and Criminal Convictions
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife can discipline Fisherman 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 Fisherman. Common criminal offenses that can cause Fisherman License discipline are:
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other law enforcement agencies also investigate criminal conduct by Fisherman in the course and scope of their trade. Criminal investigations often involve Fisherman engaged in Filing False Reports, Fish and Game Code Violations and Perjury. In serious criminal cases against Fisherman pending in Criminal Court, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Legal Office may seek a California Penal Code § 23 Order against the Fishing. A California Penal Code § 23 Order seeks to suspend a Fishing License in Criminal Court. Fisherman facing criminal charges and Fisherman who are convicted of criminal offenses need an experienced California Fisherman License Defense Attorney for representation in disciplinary proceedings before the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
California Fishing License Statement of Issues Attorney
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife thoroughly investigates all applicants for Fishing Licenses. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife may deny a California Fishing License for a variety of reasons. Most California Fishing License denials occur due to criminal convictions, financial problems or misstatements on the Fishing 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 Fishing License should contact a California Fishing License Denial Lawyer for representation in a California Department of Fish and Wildlife Statement of Issues Hearing.
California Fishing License Petition for Reinstatement Lawyer
A Petition for Reinstatement allows Fisherman who have received a Fisherman License Revocation to reinstate their License. The Petition for Reinstatement must show by clear and convincing evidence the factual and legal reasons to warrant the Fishing License Reinstatement. Rehabilitation from past misconduct is the primary factor in a Petition for Reinstatement before the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. A successful Fishing License Petition for Reinstatement requires representation by an experienced California Fishing License Defense Attorney.