While animal abuse charges are less serious than many crimes against humans, many jury members see the creatures as innocent victims, meaning it is critical anyone facing these types of accusations immediately contact a skilled North County San Diego criminal attorney. This is particularly true considering that California has some of the strictest animal protection laws in the nation, covering not only pets, but also wildlife, strays and farmed animals.
In fact, in California, you can even be arrested and charged with animal abuse for leaving your dog in your car without any drinking water -even if you did so in cool weather and only left the vehicle for a few minutes.
You can be charged with animal neglect for being grossly negligent in caring for animals or with animal cruelty for the malicious killing, wounding or maiming of an animal. Both animal neglect and animal cruelty can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
In many cases, persons accused of animal abuse or neglect are actually loving pet owners who either made a mistake in judgement or were simply caught at a bad time. Even if you think the accusations against you are merely misunderstandings though, it is still critical you work with a San Diego North County criminal lawyer as soon as police have accused you of abuse or things you may say while attempting to defend yourself may end up being used against you later on.
In some cases, alleged animal abusers were actually acting to protect themselves or their loved ones from a dangerous wild or stray animal. In these cases, your North County criminal defense lawyer can help you show that you acted in self-defense, which is a strong argument against animal abuse, just as it is against similar acts against humans.
If you have been accused of animal abuse or neglect, whether or not you feel the accusations are legitimate, please contact a North County criminal attorney as soon as possible in order to ensure your rights are protected. Please schedule a free initial consultation with Peter M. Liss by calling (760) 643-4050 today.
Image Courtesy of Juan Pedro Diez