West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses FL Animal Cruelty Charges
Palm Beach County and specifically Loxahatchee, FL has seen its share of animal cruelty cases throughout the years
Palm Beach County and specifically Loxahatchee, FL has seen its share of animal cruelty cases throughout the years. Attorney Andrew D. Stine has represented Loxahatchee, FL residents for over 15 years in animal cruelty cases. Palm Beach County cases like Anderson, Goll, Briggs, Mays, and tens of others have all depended on West Palm Beach animal cruelty defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine to represent them in their prosecution for animal cruelty and animal neglect cases. Animal Cruelty is defined in Florida under section 828.12 and can either be a Felony or a Misdemeanor.
The Animal Cruelty statute under Florida Law deals with all animals: domestic animals like dogs and cats and non-domestic animals like horses, pigs, goats, raccoons, opossums and other “farm” animals. Under Florida Law, animal cruelty is broken down into various elements and reads as follows: when a person overloads, overdrives or torments an animal; or when a person deprives an animal of necessary sustenance or shelter or when a person unnecessarily mutilates, or kills any animal, or causes the same to be done or when a person carries in or upon any vehicle, or otherwise, any animal in a cruel or inhumane manner. With all prior listed acts are a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to one year in the county jail or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
Under Florida law, a person commits a Felony of the Third Degree when they intentionally commit an act to any animal, or a person who owns or has the custody or control of any animal and fails to act, which results in the cruel death, or excessive or repeated infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering, or causes the same to be done, commits aggravated animal cruelty, a felony of the third degree punishable by up to five years in the Department of Corrections and or by a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
As one can plainly see, the felony version of the Florida Animal Cruelty Statute deals with the “manner of death.” So in Florida, the difference many times between a Misdemeanor and a Felony Animal Cruelty charge is persuading the prosecutor or jury that the manner of death is not “cruel.” Florida law recognizes that animals may be killed. Horses, cows, pigs, sheep, dogs, cats and all other animals in Florida may be lawfully slaughtered or killed under the laws of Florida.
For instance, it may not be the community standard to shoot a horse in Miami, Florida but that may not be the same for a place like Loxahatchee, FL. Did you know that a horse may be shot in the head, as may other non-domestic animals, in many instances to put the animal down or for human consumption? As a matter of fact, veterinarians and many ranch people will draw an imaginary “X” pattern through a non-domesticated animal’s head, from one ear to the other ear, and shoot the animal where the X intersects and this is considered by many to be an uncruel death.
As an experienced animal cruelty defense lawyer, I have come to learn through hundreds of cases throughout the State of Florida in places like Pasco-Perry case, Brevard-Abrams case, Okaloosa-Kervin case, St. Lucie-Ricky case, and many other locations like Dade and Broward counties that community standards, as to what is acceptable in the manner of killing an animal, is a very important component of how an animal cruelty case can be defended and won!
Recently, three ranches in Loxahatchee, FL have been raided to for the slaughter and selling of horse meat. The sale of horsemeat in Florida is legal. Palm Beach County and specifically Loxahatchee, FL has seen its share of animal cruelty cases through the years. Attorney Andrew D. Stine has represented Loxahatchee, FL residents for over 15 years in animal cruelty cases. Palm Beach County cases like Anderson, Goll, Briggs, and Epply have all depended on West Palm Beach criminal defense lawyer Andrew D. Stine to represent them from prosecution and sure prison time.
Moreover, Florida law prohibits a person from knowingly transporting, distributing, selling, purchasing, or possessing horsemeat for human consumption that is not clearly stamped, marked, and described as horse meat for human consumption or horse meat that is not acquired from a licensed slaughterhouse. A person who violates this section commits a Felony of the Third Degree, punishable by up to five years in the department of corrections and a fine or both with the following sentencing exceptions that any person who commits a violation of this section shall be sentenced to a minimum mandatory fine of $3,500 and a minimum mandatory period of incarceration of 1 year. In addition, any license of any restaurant, store, or other business may be suspended as provided in the applicable licensing law upon conviction of an owner or employee of that business for a violation of this section in connection with that business. Fla. Stat. Sec. 500.451.
So to recap, under Florida law it is not Per Se unlawful or illegal to kill any animal and it is not Per Se unlawful or illegal to sell horsemeat. The prior two principles may be hard on one’s feeling, as most people love their pets and understandably so. But the Laws of Florida allow people to properly euthanize their animal and to eat horse meat if they choose. If you or a loved one has been arrested for any animal cruelty matter, dog fighting, cock fighting, horsemeat sale, slaughter house activities or any other animal care and control matter contact Andrew D. Stine at (561) 880-4300 for your free immediate consultation. Hire Stine or Do The Time!