California has some of the strictest animal abuse and neglect laws in the country, covering not only pets, but wildlife, livestock and strays. In fact, if someone sees your dog alone in the car panting without water, you may be arrested for animal cruelty or neglect even if you only left your dog for a few minutes to go into a store. While these laws are intended to help protect animals, they often neglect the realities of pet ownership, pest control and farm life. In many cases, they result in the prosecution of people who genuinely believe they did nothing wrong. That is why anyone accused of animal abuse or neglect should immediately contact a top San Diego criminal lawyer like Peter M. Liss.
Animal neglect charges involve gross negligence in the care of animals, while animal cruelty charges arise from maliciously maiming, wounding or killing an animal. Both charges are wobblers, which means they can be either misdemeanors or felonies and a San Diego criminal defense attorney may be able to ensure the charges are brought up as misdemeanors to minimize the potential sentence you may face.
These charges are often brought up against loving pet owners, sometimes because they do not understand specifics of pet ownership or animal abuse laws. In some instances, people go on vaccation and hire a pet sitter, only to learn later that the person they left in charge of their pets was not actually responsible enough to take care of a pet. Occassionally, pet owners will be accused of leaving an animal without water just because the pet knocked over their own water while the owner was away. If you have been accused of animal neglect or abuse only due to poor judgement or a specific set of circumstances that caused a misunderstanding, a San Diego criminal attorney can help you defend yourself and may even be able to help you maintain ownership of your pet.
Often, animal abuse charges involving strays or wildlife are actually cases of self defense where someone has acted to protect themselves or their family from a dangerous animal. If you acted in self defense, your San Diego criminal lawyer may be able to have the charges against you dropped before they go to trial.
Whatever the specifics of your individual circumstances, if you have been charged with animal abuse or neglect, San Diego defense attorney Peter M. Liss can help. Please call (760) 643-4050 or (858) 486-3024 to schedule a free initial consultation.
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