Animal Cruelty Defense Attorney in Houston: Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris & Montgomery Counties
Many people love animals in Texas and go to great lengths to protect them from harm, whether they are pets, farm animals or personal assistance animals. Cruelty against animals is regarded as a very serious crime that deserves prosecution. Various laws have been passed to protect animals and ensure their safety.
What is Animal Cruelty?
Cruelty against animals can take many forms. Intentionally neglecting to feed a pet or repeatedly hitting an animal to make it obey can both be considered examples of cruelty against animals. Essentially, any action that a person takes that involves harming animals, torturing animals or purposefully causing discomfort or pain to an animal can be considered animal abuse.
Various activities that can be considered animal abuse can include:
- Overworking a farm animal
- Forcing an animal to live in a cage that is too small
- Intentionally starving an animal
- Conducting medical experiments on animals
- Forcing animals to engage in fights with other animals
Houston Punishments for Harming Animals
The legal penalties for hurting or torturing animals can vary widely from state to state. Although nearly all jurisdictions have some form of law on the books regarding the legal punishments for abusing animals, the classification of the crime can vary.
In some states, like Texas, the laws divide animal mistreatment crimes into two main groups: intentional and failure to act. Intentional crimes are direct instances of mistreatment, such as hitting an animal or forcing an animal to fight. Failure to act crimes are offenses such as neglect, inadequate shelter or abandonment.
In general, convictions for intentional mistreatment of animals are punished more harshly than failure to act convictions. For example, cases that involve torturing animals or physically harming animals can be considered state jail felonies in Texas. According to the Texas Penal Code, a first-time conviction for this crime can bring a sentence of up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
For a conviction of cruelty to animals involving deprivation of food and water, neglect or abandonment, a Class A misdemeanor sentence may be imposed. This can be punished by a year in jail and $4,000 in fines.
Call a Houston, Attorney Who Knows How to Handle Animal Cruelty Charges
Accusations of torturing animals is both very serious and embarrassing. These charges can hurt a good citizen’s image and lead to large punishments.
If you need legal assistance, speak with the Law Office of Greg Tsioros today by calling (832) 752-5972.