Mississippi is home to some of the most amazing plant life in the entire nation. The clue is right in our nickname: “The Magnolia State.” You can see all kinds of amazing flowering plants while taking a stroll through one of our state parks. You might have thought to yourself, “That flower would look wonderful at home in my garden.” But what happens when you take a plant from a state park in Mississippi? Is this really a crime? After all, these are state parks funded by your tax dollars. Isn’t it true that these plants belong to the people of Mississippi?
Unfortunately, taking plants from state parks in Mississippi is a serious offense. Believe it or not, you could face jail time and significant fines if you are caught committing this act. A famous case in California involved two men who faced serious penalties for poaching succulent plants from a state park. One faced 40 days in jail, three years of probation, and a $4,000 fine. The other individual was fined for more than $10,000. While the laws are slightly different here in Mississippi, this gives you an idea of how serious this offense can be.
If you have been charged with plant poaching or any other offense related to a national park in Mississippi, it makes sense to team up with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. These legal experts can help you pursue justice, and they can employ a range of effective strategies to mitigate any consequences you might be facing.
The Mississippi Commission of Wildlife
According to the Mississippi Commission of Wildlife, it is illegal to “Destroy, cut, break, remove, mutilate, injure, take, or gather in any manner any tree, shrub, plant, rock, mineral, or historical artifact within a park or on state property.”
The Department of Justice
National Parks are also protected on a federal level by the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, the Department of Agriculture, and the Department of the Army. According to the Department of Justice, violating national park regulations can result in three months of jail time and fines of up to $500.
What is the Logic Behind These Laws?
You may be wondering why it is such a big deal to take plants from a national or state park in Mississippi. After all, the forests are filled with plants. Why is it such a big deal to take just one plant? Well, the answer is quite simple. If everyone did this, we would quickly lose our state parks. Rare plants would go extinct, and soon enough people would be uprooting entire trees and ruining ecosystems. While it might not seem like a huge deal to take a flowering plant home, you have to imagine what would happen if everyone in the state of Mississippi did the same thing.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you need help with any crime committed in a state park, reach out to Vic Carmody Jr., P.A. With considerable experience with hunting, fishing, and wildlife regulations, Vic Carmody Jr. is well-positioned to provide you with dependable legal assistance. Book a consultation today, and we can develop an action plan together.