NJ ANIMAL CRUELTY OR ABUSE CHARGES
The Critical Role of a New Jersey Animal Cruelty Lawyer in Protecting Animals
Domestic animals such as dogs, cats, and other pets are an essential aspect of our society. As such, it is crucial to protect them from any form of cruelty or abuse by imposing stringent legal safeguards. The state of New Jersey has instilled strict laws punishing individuals who commit animal cruelty by enforcing severe penalties. Whether its neglecting to provide proper nutrition to your pet or keeping your animal outside during extreme weather conditions, failure to comply with these laws could result in imprisonment and a criminal record. Therefore, it is essential to consult with an experienced defense attorney who can handle animal abuse cases adequately. At the Todd Spodek Law Firm, we have a seasoned team of criminal defense attorneys specializing in this area.
Our firm has maintained a robust presence in criminal defense law throughout New Jersey, with fifteen professional criminal lawyers that have over 200 years of combined experience representing clients in various counties and municipalities like Mercer, Burlington, Middlesex, Essex Hudson Ocean, Monmouth Union counties. Our accomplished attorneys include former county and municipal prosecutors and certified criminal trial attorneys who served at the highest levels possible and worked in some of the most dynamic courtrooms within the state. We pride ourselves on our extensive network of statewide connections that enables us to access useful resources while working tirelessly towards ensuring the most favorable results for our clients facing allegations of animal cruelty.
Understanding Animal Cruelty & Abuse Crimes
Animal cruelty is not only immoral but also illegal in New Jersey. Severe ramifications accompany individuals convicted of such offenses – this includes paying steep fines, potential incarceration or even both! In some instances, committing an act could trigger criminal liability – usually referred to as strict liability crimes- while classic violations requiring proof for multiple aspects could lead to various degrees of culpability (recklessness, negligence). Below are different categories for various animal rights abuses:
I. Disorderly Persons Offenses
Subsection N.J.S.A. 4:22-17 (a), the New Jersey Animal Cruelty Law, outlines a list of behaviors that amount to a disorderly persons’ offense, including:
– Overloading, overworking, mistreating, or needlessly killing any animal or creature.
– Directly or indirectly causing the abuse or death of any living creature through other animals’ use.
– Engaging in unnecessary cruelty towards living animals or creatures by leaving them unattended in severe conditions that adversely affect their welfare and health.
– Failing to provide adequate care for an animal.
Convictions for paragraphs one and two above may result in payments reaching $1,000 or jail time up to six months; paragraph three leads to fines not exceeding $2,000 and sentences lasting up to six months.
II. Indictable Crimes
Equally important are subsections (b) of 4:22-17 giving rise to indictable crimes with fourth degree crime carrying potential imprisonment lasting eighteen months and/or fines reaching up to $10,000 for situations involving:
– Needlessly mutilating,
– cruelly beating
any living animal or creature either directly, indirectly by using another living creature.
Section 3 then escalates conduct specified above as a third-degree crime if these actions lead to cruel death that conforms with subsection (a). The third-degree conviction comes with jail time upwards of five years accompanied by levying fines adding up to $15,000.
III. Sexual activity Involving Animals
New Jersey rigidly prevents individuals from engaging in animal-related sexual activities. If the state proves someone indulged in this behavior deliberately/knowingly/recklessly using animals like dogs/cats/etc., they will face harsh punishments – a fine amounting up to $10,000 together with a maximum sentence of eighteen months for offenders.
If such an animal were to die due to the criminal act, animals suffered severe bodily harm or if the individual has a prior conviction for this type of action could drive penalties upwards – sometimes the maximum sentence reaches five years in jail accompanied by a $15,000 fine.
Juvenile Offenses Involving Cruelty to Animals
The court can order juvenile delinquents who perform acts that if done by adults would constitute any of the above-discussed violations within N.J.S.A. 4:22-17 to receive licensed psychologists’ mental health counseling for as long as required.
Highly Skilled New Jersey Attorneys at Your Service
At Todd Spodek Law Firm, we possess highly specialized and knowledgeable lawyers capable of defending individuals accused of animal cruelty charges all over New Jersey. Our well-trained team has extensive practical experience handling various cases involving animal mistreatment; our reputation precedes us regarding efficiency and proficiency in this area. We always approach each case dedicated to finding ways to get our clients out of such predicaments successfully regardless of their circumstances.
If you have been faced with charges regarding animal abuse, please contact us through (877) 534-7338 so we can arrange a free consultation with one of our highly skilled attorneys who will give professional advice and see how we could help you build up your defense.
Frequently Asked Questions about Animal Cruelty
If you want more information about animal cruelty and abuse, read below some frequently asked questions together with detailed answers:
Where Should I Report Animal Abuse Cases in New Jersey?
Effective February 1, 2019, Humane Law Enforcement Officers (HLEOs) reporting directly under county prosecutors now handle all animal abuse investigations sufficiently. The New Jersey Department of Health does not hold any authority regarding any matters around investigating possible cases involving animal cruelty.
What Penalties Follow upon Conviction for Animal Cruelty In NJ?
In New Jersey, the punishment to be served varies depending on the severity and nature of the crime. For disorderly persons’ offenses, individuals could face a jail term not exceeding six months in jail; for fourth-degree crimes, sentences could last up to eighteen months, while fines match up to $10,000. Third-degree animal cruelty convictions total five years behind bars accompanied by a $15,000 fine.
Is Animal Abuse Crime in NJ?
Yes! Current laws stipulate that violating New Jerseys animal abuse law is a serious matter – leading to indictable crimes sometimes culminating towards prison time. Even being guilty of a disorderly person’s offense worth their criminal record and potential jail time!
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS