Is there a statute of limitations for hunting violations? How long can personal property be held in evidence with no charges?

Asked over 3 years ago - Spokane, WA

Last fall a Washington Department of Fish and wildlife officer took my rifle into evidence in a case involving unintentional shooting of an elk not meeting the requirements of a legal game animal. The officer gave me an evidence receipt, but I was not charged with anything. He told me that the prosecutor would review the evidence, his report, and my statement as well as witnesses and contact me to let me know if charges would be prferred. That was five months ago. How long can they hold my property without preferring charges?

Attorney answers (1)

  1. Robert Daniel Kelly

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . The Fish and Wildlife Code of Washington is now codified as Title 77 RCW. State V. Vander Houwen, 163 Wn.2d 25 (2008). Unlawful taking of protected fish or wildlife is a misdemeanor. RCW 77.15.130. No misdemeanor may be prosecuted more than one year after its commission. RCW 9A.04.080 (1)(j).

    The authorities can probably keep the evidence until after the statute of limitations has run.

    [In accordance with the Avvo community guidelines, this communication does not constitute "legal advice", nor does... more

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