People love pets and other animals. They’re cute, they’re cuddly, and they can bring a smile to just about anyone’s face. Many people love pets even more than other people. That’s just one of the many reasons someone finding themselves charged with an offense under Pennsylvania’s Cruelty to Animal law (Title 18, Section 5511 of the Pennsylvania Code), will be facing an uphill battle when forced to explain themselves in front of a jury.
Those accused of cruelty to animals may find themselves facing anywhere from a fine and a simple summary offense, to significant jail time and misdemeanor or felony charges. A person who willfully and maliciously kills, maims, mutilates, tortures, poisons, or disfigures any dog or cat, (whether their own or someone else), will find themselves facing serious misdemeanor charges. Felony charges are appropriate in the rare case that the animal affected is a zoo animal.
However, the more common scenario in which a felony is charged in an animal cruelty case is when someone participates in animal fights in any manner. This includes wagering on animal fights, training animals to compete, paying to watch an animal fight, or, encouraging and aiding in animal fights in any way. Charges of Cruelty to Animals are taken very, very seriously as most prosecutors and judges will be inclined to offer very little leniency in cases involving innocent animals.
A common way that even an animal lover may find themselves facing a cruelty to animals charge is when they improperly put end the lives of a suffering pet in ill health. Pennsylvania has a law known as The Animal Destruction Method Authorization Law. This law explains permissible and impermissible ways in which to end an animals life without violating the law. I would encourage anyone facing the dilemma of what to do with their dying pet to consult with a vet or even potentially an attorney to find out what options they have when it comes to that time. Otherwise they could wind up facing serious criminal charges.
If you find yourselves facing cruelty to animals charges, don’t count on the prosecution to cut you any breaks. What you need is an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you build a defense. An experienced attorney can get the charges potentially reduced or dismissed, or pursue alternative arrangements with the prosecution including counseling or classes regarding the proper treatment of animals. Contact Attorney Frank Walker today to find out what options are available to you.
Attorney Frank Walker of Frank Walker Law is a National Top 100 Criminal Defense Lawyer and Personal Injury Attorney with offices in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and Morgantown West Virginia. Attorney Walker is also a member of the National College for DUI Defense, Super Lawyers and qualified as a Pennsylvania Death Penalty Defense Attorney.
If you or someone you love are facing criminal charges or seriously injured in an accident in WV or PA, contact Attorney Frank Walker immediately at 412-532-6805, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for aggressive and experienced Criminal Defense or Representation following a serious accident or injury.
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