Animal Cruelty Defense
Houston Animal Cruelty Lawyers :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
Animal cruelty in Texas is broken down into two separate types of offenses. The first is a civil offense, and the second is a felony charge. Some of the acts that could lead to a conviction on either level include:
- Working an animal more than what is considered humane
- Torturing or abandoning an animal
- Seriously injuring or killing an animal
- Failing to provide adequate shelter, care, food or water
There are a variety of other acts that fall under the guidelines of an animal cruelty crime and can result in heavy sentences. Most of these offenses apply to domesticated animals or livestock, but can apply to wild animals that may have once been cared for by humans. There are exceptions given to animals that take part in circuses or are used for research.
Penalties for Animal Cruelty
A civil conviction involving animal cruelty is not nearly as severe as felony charges and often results from cases of neglect. In these types of cases, a judge often orders the owner of the animal to surrender it to local authorities or to a specific organization. A judge may also order the defendant to pay restitution.
A felony case often entails much harsher sentencing guidelines. There may be heavy fines levied against the defendant or possibly even a prison or jail sentence. Cases which involve a person under the age of 18 will also see counseling added to the sentence.
Defending Against Animal Cruelty Charges
There are a variety of ways in which a skilled animal cruelty attorney can protect his clients against false charges. The first thing an attorney will search for is any underlying issue that already existed with the animal. This can show that the owner’s actions did not truly cause the animal’s harm or death. This is done by consulting with the veterinarian of the animal and searching the autopsy report. An animal cruelty lawyer will also see if the defendant was given adequate time to rectify any issues regarding the animal before the arrest was made.
Talk to Animal Cruelty Attorneys in Houston, TX
The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp has a proven track record of defending their clients and achieving results. They work on the model of providing small firm personal service with large firm results. Contact Matthew Sharp today to schedule a free initial consultation.