California Animal Cruelty, Abuse & Neglect
The law on the crime of animal cruelty, neglect, or abuse is found at California Penal Code Section 597.
Under PC 597, any person who overdrives, overloads, drives when overloaded, overworks, tortures, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter, cruelly beats, mutilates, or cuelty kills and animal, or causes or procures any animal to be so over driven, tormented, deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter, or having the charge of custody of any animal, either as owner or otherwise, subjects any animal to needless suffering, or inflicts any animal, or fails to provide the animal with proper food, drink, or shelter or protection from the weather, or drives, rides, or otherwise uses the animal when unfit for labor, is, for each offense, guilty o a crime.
As you can see from the long definition of animal cruelty under PC 597 there are many ways that a defendant may be charged with the crime. PC 597 may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and the defendant's criminal history.
If found guilty of animal cruelty under PC 597 the defendant may face up to a year in jail (for misdemeanor PC 597 charges), or up to three years in prison (for felony PC 597 charges).
In many cases it may be possible to have PC 597 charges reduced or dismissed depending on the facts of each case. In other cases, it may be possible to reduce the harsh penalties associated with PC 597 charges even where the charges are not reduced or where the case is not completely dismissed.
Defenses to animal cruelty charges under PC 597 include, statute of limitations (1 years for misdemeanor PC 597 charges and 3 years for felony PC 597 charges), insufficient evidence to prove the charges, and improper police procedure (such as taking statements from the defendant without reading the defendant's Rights or securing property from the defendant's home without consent or a warrant).
In addition to the penalties described above, if found guilty of animal cruelty under PC 597, the defendant may be placed on probation, be made to pay hefty fines, be restrained from owning animals, face professional or occupational license restriction, suspension, or denial, or face immigration consequences (for non-U.S. citizens).
If you or a loved one is charged with animal cruelty, abuse, or neglect under PC 597, contact criminal defense attorney Christopher Dorado today.
Attorney Dorado will patiently describe the law behind PC 597, inform you of your Rights, and discuss your defense options. !00% of attorney Dorado's practice is dedicated to criminal defense and initial consultations are provided at no cost to the accused.
Closely associated charges to Animal Cruelty, Abuse, or Neglect (PC 597), include:
- PC 597(f) Sexual Abuse of Animal
- PC 597(b) Cruelty to an animal
- PC 597j(a) Own or Possess or Train animal with intent of fighting
- PC 597.5(b) knowingly attend a dog fight
- PC 597b(c) Fight animal or cock with prior
- PC 600 Harm peace officer's horse or dog causing injury
- PC 597.7 Leave Animal Unattended in Vehicle
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