The consequences of making a false statement to a federal game warden can be extremely high. Knowingly making a false statement to a federal officer is a felony.
It’s easy to run afoul of state and federal game laws. Examples of wildlife violations that can result in contact with a state or federal game officer include:
- Importing a protected species
- Mislabeling fish or game
- Killing or possessing a protected species
- Collecting or killing game using an unlawful method
You may not even know that your hunting or fishing activity was illegal. By speaking to a law enforcement officer, you could make admissions that could be used against you. Even worse, you could make a false statement that could change a misdemeanor game violation into a felony offense.
If you are questioned by a game warden concerning a possible violation, you can only make matters worse by trying to talk your way out of it. Martha Stewart went to prison not for insider trading, but because she made a false statement to a federal law enforcement officer.
To convict you of a crime, the federal game warden only need prove that you knowingly made a false statement. To protect yourself, say nothing and seek legal advice from an attorney who regularly defends people accused of fish and game violations.