Cruelty to Animals is often overcharged by police in Denver, Adams, and Jefferson County in Colorado. According to Colorado Revised Statute 18-9-202, Animal Cruelty is charged when a person allegedly does one of the following to an animal: overdrives, overworks, torments, deprives of necessary sustenance, unnecessarily or cruelly beats, houses in a manner that results in chronic or repeated serious injury, confines or carries in or upon vehicles in a cruel or reckless manner, or mistreats or neglects any animal. The list goes on and on.
If you are like me, the first thing that comes to mind about this law is that it could apply to almost any situation. You could be on a walk with your animal and it gets hurt by stepping on a nail. That would arguably qualify under neglecting an animal's welfare in cities like Denver, Lakewood, Parker, and Brighton. In fact, if you leave your dog in a car for any length of time, without the windows rolled down, that could likely be considered a criminal matter. We have even seen an instance where a dog's paws were cut by a rock and the loving pet owner had the dog carried back to her car. The government charged her.
The second thing that comes to mind with cruelty to animals is the type of person who gets charged with this crime. The police in Douglas County, Lone Tree, Aurora, and Westminster don't care about how much you love your pet. Instead, they assume that if you are accused of hurting or injuring an animal, then you must be a horrible person. Most of our clients actually love their animals as another member of the family.
The other thing to consider with these cases is the necessity to have an experienced criminal defense attorney with a reputation for fighting these charges in Arapahoe County, Eagle County, El Paso County, or any other county in Colorado. Usually, I will tell my clients that it would have been better if they would have hurt a person rather than an unforeseen pet injury. For some reason, the government treats people accused of this crime worse than most other crimes. The government, through the District Attorney's Office and the Judicial branch of the state, punish people convicted of animal abuse more severely than other misdemeanors and felonies.
Throughout Colorado, the experienced attorneys at the O'Malley Law Office can help your fight against the government. If you or someone you care about is being accused of any Animal Cruelty or Cruelty to Animals crime, be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us at 303-731-0719. Together we can protect your future.