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Aggravated animal cruelty is a serious offense under Florida law, and anyone who is charged faces the real possibility of a jail sentence and a permanent felony conviction. Animal control investigators and police detectives are generally not impartial when it comes to animal cruelty investigations, and suspects are rarely given the benefit of the doubt. If an animal is seriously injured or killed the police tend to unfairly assume that the owner or caretaker of the animal was at fault, but this is certainly not always the case. There can be numerous innocent explanations, but all too often it seems a suspect in an animal cruelty case has no voice, and is not given a fair chance to explain their side of the story. An experienced animal cruelty lawyer can fight back against biased law enforcement officers and make your voice heard. Benjamin Herbst is a criminal defense lawyer who specializes in defending charges for aggravated animal cruelty in South Florida. Benjamin represents clients in the Tri-County jurisdictions of Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, as well as the Treasure Coast jurisdictions of Martin and St. Lucie County. He is available 7 days a week to offer a free consultation at (954) 543-0305, and has a flexible appointment schedule in his Fort Lauderdale and West Palm office locations. Contact Benjamin today and learn how you can fight back against the state in your animal cruelty case.
Aggravated animal cruelty is a third-degree felony under Florida criminal law 828.12, and carries a maximum penalty of up to 5 years in prison. A conviction for this offense also carries a potential fine of up to $10,000 and the possibility of being ordered to undergo psychological counseling and anger management. The statute defines aggravated animal cruelty as an intentional act that results in a cruel death or excessive infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering to an animal. The law also includes failure to take action that results in a cruel death or unnecessary pain or suffering. The second scenario often occurs when an owner or caretaker leaves an animal without adequate food or water for an extended period of time. If the animal suffers serious injury or dies as a result of the failure to act the defendant will almost certainly be charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Benjamin Herbst is an experienced Florida aggravated animal cruelty lawyer who understands the complex nature of these cases. He has successfully represented numerous defendants charged with aggravated animal cruelty and fights to have the charges dropped or reduced the minute he is hired. Animal cases are not like typical criminal cases, and require a certain degree of skill and experience to assure the defendant’s rights are protected. If you feel you may be under investigation for animal cruelty do not speak to investigators without a lawyer present. Making statements without a lawyer can seriously impact your ability to fight your charges down the road in court, and can also result in the filing of additional charges. The penalties for repeat offenders of animal cruelty increase drastically, as a second conviction will result in a mandatory 6-month jail sentence that cannot be suspended. If you have been charged as a subsequent offender or are facing charges for the first time, contact Benjamin Herbst at (954) 543-0305 as soon as possible to discuss your animal cruelty case.