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Law enforcement officials in Texas review hundreds of animal abuse complaints each day, and they are not alone in this regard. Activists and even civil judges in Texas also deal with situations related to the harming of animals. The laws that prohibit and prevent animal abuse in the Lone Star State are not only complex but also open to intricate interpretation.
Call today for a free case review: 713-223-8900.
Torturing animals, in essence, is a punishable offense; however, it may not always result in criminal charges. Depending on certain circumstances, animal abuse cases can be tried in civil or criminal court divisions. According to the Texas Penal Code, Harming animals may consist of activities such as:
Texas law makes a fine distinction between domesticated animals and wildlife. Cats, dogs and dairy cows are generally considered to be domesticated; parrots that were caught in the wild but later kept in a cage as pets are also domesticated. In Texas, torturing animals that have been domesticated is a crime. Activists who protect the rights of animals may file complaints in civil court when they see criminal charges dismissed without prosecution.
Animal abuse complaints can be filed by many different parties, and the legal interpretation of these cases can become complicated. For example, a cat that was once domesticated but then became a stray may be classified as a wild animal, which means that harming that cat will not result in criminal charges or jail time. Nevertheless, a civil complaint may be filed against the alleged attacker, who may be sentenced to pay restitution.
Defendants who are arrested for alleged cruelty to animals should not take matters lightly. Torturing animals could land a defendant in jail for up to two years. Several defenses can be raised, and many of them involve taking a close look at how the alleged abuse was reported. Complaints are sometimes filed out of an emotional response, which is the main reason defense attorneys carefully analyze these cases. Proving animal cruelty is not always a cut-and-dry affair, and this is something that prosecutors are often aware of.
If you have been accused of hurting animals and are in need of legal assistance, then call Shahin Zamir at 713-223-8900.