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Department of Natural Resources Citations

For Help & Information, Contact Our Salisbury Criminal Defense Lawyers

You need a criminal defense lawyer if you are charged with a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) citation in Maryland. A DNR citation is a criminal charging document issued by a DNR police officer for a violation of the Maryland Natural Resources Code. These are typically laws related to hunting, fishing, and boating.

A DNR citation is a misdemeanor, and the maximum penalties are often $1,000 or more; some offenses carry the possibility of jail sentences. A DNR citation is a crime that will remain on your criminal record if you are convicted. DNR police officers and judges take these charges seriously, and so should you. If you are charged with a DNR citation, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney from the MacDonald Law Office, LLC, to protect your rights and aggressively defend against the charge.

Commercial Fishing Violations & License Suspensions

Commercial watermen working on the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries out of harbors in Dorchester, Somerset, and Wicomico counties have even more at stake when it comes to DNR citations. Many commercial fishermen work out of harbors in Cambridge, Crisfield, and Hughesville. In addition to hefty fines, repeated DNR violations can result in the suspension of a commercial fishing license. This means that a waterman's livelihood may be on the line when a DNR citation is issued against a commercial license holder.

A person must have a commercial license through the DNR to commercially harvest crabs, oysters, and fish in the Chesapeake Bay. A limited number of commercial fishing licenses are issued, and there is a waiting list. The DNR assesses points against a commercial license for violations of the commercial fishing laws. Once a certain number of points are assessed against a license holder, the DNR will suspend the license.

A licensee has 30 days from the date of notice of a suspension to request a hearing through the Office of Administrative Hearing (OAH). A hearing will be held through the OAH, where an administrative law judge (ALJ) will decide whether the license should be suspended after hearing from both sides. In addition, for certain categories of egregious, repeat or knowing violations, the DNR may revoke a commercial fishing license or authorization for striped bass, crabs or oysters after an OAH hearing. A person with a commercial fishing license should have an experienced criminal and administrative law attorney to represent him at an OAH hearing.

Andrew MacDonald and Cynthia MacDonald are experienced criminal defense attorneys who have been practicing criminal and administrative law on the Eastern Shore of Maryland for 20 years. We have appeared at many OAH hearings. Living and working on the Eastern Shore, we understand how important it is to protect a waterman's right to make a living.

We are committed to helping commercial watermen and sportsmen charged with DNR crimes. Call the MacDonald Law Office, LLC, today at (410) 348-7809 for a free initial consultation if you are charged with a DNR citation on Maryland's Eastern Shore, or if you have been notified that your commercial fishing license will be suspended.

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