Being Charged with Animal AbuseAnimal abuse is a very serious conviction and you may be charged for a variety of situations. In California, there are multiple penal codes defining types of animal abuse and they come with serious penalties. If you have been accused of animal abuse, a serious investigation will follow.
What is Animal Abuse?To understand your own charges, you need to understand what counts as animal abuse. Animal abuse is defined as any act in which you neglect, harm, kill, or even overwork an animal. If you intentionally withhold basic needs like food, water, or shelter, it’s considered abuse. You may even be charged with animal abuse if you leave your animal in an unattended car or if you leave them unattended in your yard for several days without food or water. In the state of California, dogfighting is a type of animal abuse and it includes owning, possessing, or training a dog with the intent to participate in a dog fight.
DefensesIn an animal abuse case, the intent is a key factor. The prosecutor must prove that you intended to harm or neglect the animal. Your defense can ride on the fact that you did not intend any harm or that any death or injury was an accident. In some cases, it’s possible for an accuser to misidentify a perpetrator. You can claim that you were not the one who was seen abusing an animal and you were falsely accused.
PenaltiesAnimal cruelty is a wobbler offense, meaning it can be filed as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Your charge will depend on your past record and the specifics of the charges against you. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, you may spend up to one year in prison and you can be fined up to $20,000. If you’re charged with a felony, you also face a fine of up to $20,000 and you can spend up to three years in prison. The animal in question will also likely be removed from your custody. Since animal abuse is a wobbler offense, you could end up with a very serious charge on your record. These types of charges can negatively impact your future. Working with an attorney can help you fight your case and end up with the best possible outcome. The Law Offices of Bradley Corbett are experienced in defending animal abuse cases. Click here to learn more and get in contact.
Bradley Corbett is a criminal defense attorney in San Diego. He graduated from Brigham Young University in Provo Utah in 2004. Later he enrolled at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego where he participated in a prestigious internship program with the Los Angeles County Public Defender. Since then he has handled over 2,000 cases.