Animal Related Crimes
Florida Statute 828 outlines Animals: cruelty; sales; animal enterprise. If arrested or being investigated by law enforcement, consider contacting our office. We recognize the need of individuals charged with animal related crimes to have experienced legal counsel representing them, however we are selective in whom we choose to take on as a client. Our main office is in West Palm Beach, Florida but are often retained on criminal cases throughout the state of Florida.
Upon contacting our law office, you will speak directly to attorney Roger P. Foley. You will have confidential conversations regarding your case and he will review the police report and any other information available regarding your arrest or investigation. We review prospective clients and the criminal allegations made against them on a case by case basis. We understand that there are innocent people that are arrested and we definitely want to assist those individuals.
Many animal cruelty cases involve negligence or an intentional act of cruelty. Many of the calls we receive from prospective clients involve mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, unusual behavior or a temporary lapse in judgment. Most cases are rejected by our office due to the facts relayed by the prospective client. If a case is rejected, and if asked, we may recommend another attorney or law firm to assist.
We understand that people may act out of character in a particular instance or make a mistake, we are all human and flawed human beings. We are open to representing individuals charged in those circumstances. However, we chose not to align ourselves with defendants charged with intentional acts of torture or severe neglect.
We also understand that sometimes someone may be falsely charged with an act of animal cruelty. For example, our office represented a young lady that was employed as a horse trainer. She was young but she had extensive experience with farm animals, specifically horses. She had performed every job in the stable, cleaning, grooming, feeding, training, etc.. One day, while taking a group of people out horseback riding, one of the horses bolted on the trail. On that horse was an inexperienced rider and the runaway horse placed the young rider in danger. The trainer was able to catch up to the horse and was trying to slow it down by taking the reins. The horse was not responding. The trainer had to safely stop the horse and remove the inexperienced rider from the horse. After successfully doing so, the trainer now atop the runaway horse was trying to gain control, the horse was raising up on its hind quarters. The trainer had been using a whip or horse riding crop and was attempting to have the horse move forward to stay on the trail. One of the people in the group reported her to the police and she was arrested. Mr. Foley contacted several training facilities for knowledge on the subject and found that this was normal protocol and not considered abuse. It brought no harm to the animal. Animal control, the police nor the state attorney’s office were aware of the widely accepted training method used in horse training and proceeded forward with the prosecution of the case. After listing several experts in the field and providing literature on the subject the case was eventually dismissed.
Compare that fact scenario with the case of Ollie the Pit bull and other cases of intentional abuse. Ollie the Pit bull was stabbed several times and stuffed into a suitcase to die. Additionally, there are dog fighting rings where individuals use innocent non-aggressive dogs as bait for their fighting dogs. Often these horrible individuals see an ad for rehoming of a dog and they claim to be adopters. Soon thereafter the former family pet is being used as “bait”. The family dog offers little resistance to fighting dogs that have been bred to kill. These intentional acts of abuse are representative of the cases that WE DO NOT REPRESENT.
Animal cruelty has many forms and here are some of the more common types of violence toward animals:
Fighting or Baiting Florida Statute 828.122
Participating in or viewing a dog fighting event
Intentional torture of animals
Maiming, mutilating or killing of animals
Punching, kicking or striking an an animal out of anger or for amusement
Neglect, malnutrition, starvation of animals
Animal poisoning Florida Statute 828.08
Animal confinement or abandonment Florida Statute 828.13
Tied to any object without sufficient food or water
Dropping off dog in street or abandoned area, ie. everglades
Transporting or confining an animal in an inhumane manner
Sexual relations with animals
Leaving a pet in a car without proper ventilation
There are many great attorneys throughout the state that specialize in defending these cases. We do not focus our practice on these types of cases, however we will zealously defend the people we do represent.
Specific Animal Crime Statutes are found here:
Animal Crime Punishments
Prosecutors in the State of Florida, especially in Palm Beach County, take animal abuse charges very seriously and vigorously prosecute these types of cases. Animal crimes in Florida range from misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in County Jail, to third degree felonies, punishable by up to five years in Florida State Prison. You should not face these charges alone.
Contact The Law Office of Roger P. Foley, P.A.
Contact us today to schedule a free 15 minute case strategy with our Palm Beach County Animal Cruelty Defense Attorney. It is important that we get to know you as a client, but even more so as a person. Knowing you will help us do our job better. We need to hear your version of the story and any facts you remember. Information provided to a criminal defense attorney early on in the case may be the difference in the case. Call today so we can get to work preparing your defense.