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The Florida Animal Fighting Act under statue 828.122 is one of the strictest animal laws in the country, and provides harsh punishments for anyone convicted. The Act is extremely broad and subjects just about anyone involved with animal fighting or baiting to criminal prosecution. This includes spectators of animal fights, who face the same third-degree felony charges as the owners and trainers of the animals. If you have been charged or are being investigated for violating the Florida Animal Fighting Act contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately to start protecting your rights. Benjamin Herbst is a South Florida lawyer who specializes in defending clients charged with animal fighting, and he has the knowledge and experience to argue for a dismissal or reduction of charges in and outside of court. Contact Benjamin at (954) 543-0305 to discuss your case anytime and find out what defenses may be available to you. Benjamin handles animal fighting cases in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, as well as in Martin and St. Lucie County. He is available to meet in person at his Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach offices, or any other convenient location from Miami to Port St. Lucie.
Organized fighting between all animals is illegal under Florida law, though the most common animals are roosters or other birds, and dogs. The Florida Animal Fighting Act also prohibits baiting of animals, which is defined as provoking an animal for the purpose of fighting or training to fight. The owners of animals engaged in fighting, as well as property owners where the fights take place are typically the first to be charged with felony animal fighting, but the criminal liability does not stop there. Any person who bets on animal fighting or assists in any way could also be liable. This includes workers who handle the animals or provide security for the locations where the fights take place. Any person who even knowingly attends an animal fight can be charged with a felony violation of the Florida Animal Fighting Act, and could find themselves arrested and facing serious criminal charges.
State prosecutors and judges do not take violations of the animal fighting act lightly, and often seek jail sentences even for first-time offenders. Even if jail time can be avoided the defendants in these cases face the possibility of a lifelong felony conviction, which cannot be sealed or expunged. Defendants may also face the possibility of their animals being seized and being prohibited to own or possess animals in the future. In addition, any property used in the crime may be subject to government forfeiture. If you have been charged or are under investigation contact Florida animal fighting lawyer Benjamin Herbst immediately to find out how you can avoid these consequences. Benjamin vigorously defends the rights of his clients in all South Florida and Treasure Coast courthouses, and keeps his clients informed each step of the way. All of Benjamin’s clients are provided with his cell phone number for access on nights and weekends, and he is never too busy to speak about the case.