Posted by jd on July 01, 2003 at 16:09:00:
In Reply to: still waiting, Kerry... posted by jojo on July 01, 2003 at 06:58:44:
As for the interpretation of the law that Kerry quoted, I agree with the opposition. That confiscation clause relates to “…game fish carried or transported in an illegal manner or taken or killed ILLEGALLY…” The fish were not "taken illegally” in the context that section was written. Fish are “taken illegally” only outside the following definition: “It shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch or kill or attempt to take, catch or kill any game fish by any other means than ordinary hook and line, artificial lure, troll or spinner in any of the public waters of this state.”
The guy was illegally fishing in waters of Alabama, if he had not purchased a license, but not taking fish in an illegal manner. Get it? Obviously not, because several people have already explained only to be lambasted with WHAT PART DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND!?!? I am now questioning the “possession” part of the license requirement. The only thing I see is “Any person for whom a fishing license is required who fishes in the public waters of this state in which freshwater fish appear without FIRST procuring a license as provided by law shall be guilty of a misdemeanor …” I can’t find anything about fishing without license in my possession, though I was once scolded by a game warden about not carrying my license.
A little different wording on Kerry’s argument:
Powers and duties of game and fish wardens; powers and duties of director with respect to game and fish wardens.
… (5) To confiscate all game, birds, animals or fish or parts thereof which have been caught, taken, killed or held at a time in any manner or for any purpose or had in possession or under control or have been shipped, carried or transported contrary to the laws of this state, and game, fur bearers, birds, fish or parts thereof so confiscated shall be held as evidence in the court in which the defendant is held for trial; and, upon conviction of the defendant, said game, fur bearers, birds, fish or parts thereof shall be disposed of by written order of the court;…
Does fishing without a license result in fish to be "caught in a manner" contrary to laws of this state? You can’t prove on-the-spot that the guy did not do it without “FIRST procuring a license” so presume innocent until proven guilty. If stopped while driving without my license, should the officer tell me to start hoofing it back home or to the nearest pay phone to get a ride? Should I call a taxi to take me to the courthouse if I lose my license? Is there anyone that has not driven without their driver's license in their possession as required by the law?
It is the law, but apparently not punishable by fine or imprisonment since a pain-in-the-tail trip to the courthouse or a letter to the state usually corrects such action and impedes future repeat offenses. Anyone got a quote related to fishing with license in possession? I know it is in the DNR regulations, which are quoted in the Code of Alabama, but the Code does not assign fines or punishments for such actions that I have found in my brief search.
I think the word POACHER is a bit strong. I am not sure, but I think that I discovered that I was also a poacher at one point according to some people's definition here. I have an Alabama lifetime license, but moved to Georgia for a few years. It seems that my one or two trips to catch stripers may have made me a poacher since I was no longer a "resident." However, this is according to another poorly written law or my poor interpretation.
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