I wish I had retained him sooner, his help has been immeasurable.


After having a consult with Steve, I quickly realized he was the attorney I needed on my side. His presence in the courtroom is unmatched and his straightforward personality never left me with uncertainty. My family and I are beyond pleased with the work he has done for us.


Attorney Smith has represented me in the past and I would not hesitate to hire him again if I need an attorney. He is no-nonsense with a lot of experience who tells you like it is and does not waste time or your money. I definitely recommend him.


I hired Steve after speaking with roughly 4 other attorneys. He didn't mince words, was straight to the point, and told me what to expect. He was spot on. I was happy with the result of my case and while I hope I don't ever need an attorney again, I would most certainly hire Steve to assist me and would recommend him to any family and friends. He isn't flashy, showy or self-praising like some others in the area. Very appreciative of that.


Steve Smith is a very knowledgeable, straightforward and experienced attorney who is also very easy to work with.


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Federal Exotic Animal Offenses Lawyers

Federal Exotic Animal Offenses Lawyers

Many people are familiar with the Joe Exotic and Carol Baskin saga from television. The Joe Exotic case is an example of criminal activity involving the Endangered Species Act. Federal exotic animal crimes make it illegal to buy, traffic, transport, or possess wildlife in many circumstances. The primary federal law regulating exotic animal possession and purchase is known as the Lacey Law, which was enacted in 1900. There are additional federal wildlife laws that also govern the possession, sale, and purchase of exotic animals, exotic animal parts, flora, fauna, and even plants and lumber.

Steve Smith was involved as lead counsel for the defense in only the second federal trial in United States history for the importation of rare Narwhal whale tusks. In defending the Narwhal case, Steve developed significant expertise in the Endangered Species Act and The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). He has dealt extensively with the Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division.

Federal Laws Against Exotic Animal Possession

Many people who are charged with exotic wildlife violations have no idea that they have purchased or are in possession of illegal products. They may have relied on a trusted third-party seller, a certified organization, or have even received the items as a gift. The penalties, however, are harsh and include prison time or fines up to half a million dollars.  It is critical to understand the charges against you and the possible penalties.

  • Endangered Species Act. An individual may be charged with violating this Act if they are believed to be involved in possessing, selling, or in any way involved in the transportation or delivery of an endangered species. Which species of wildlife, flora, and fauna are considered to be endangered is determined by an international agreement known as the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora or CITES. CITES maintains a list of all protected species. As of this writing, 5,950 animal species and 32,800 species of flora and fauna are protected by this agreement.
  • Captive Wildlife Safety Act. This federal law applies specifically to large, live cats, including lions, tigers, jaguars, cougars, cheetahs, and leopards.

Other Possible Penalties For Federal Exotic Animal Violations

In addition to the penalties mentioned above, those charged with federal wildlife violations may also be subject to additional penalties, including imprisonment, forfeiture of all illegal exotic animals or trophies and/or proceeds derived from them, prison time, community service, or the loss or revocation of state and federal hunting and fishing permits.

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