Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr., P.A. Over 50 Years Of Experience

Call For A Free Consultation

Clinton: 301-856-3030 Dunkirk: 301-855-3100

Federal officials turn animal cruelty charges into Group A felony

Starting in January 2016, the Federal Bureau of Investigations will begin to track statistics on animal cruelty crimes from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. The hope is that such statistics will help identify children who commit animal cruelty crimes and provide help to prevent crimes against humans as an adult.

The FBI has given animal cruelty crimes its own category, and listed it as a Group A felony. Many animal rights groups are applauding the change, and believe that it will help prosecutors obtain higher conviction rates for the crimes.

Law enforcement will need to report the crimes in one of four areas:

-- Simple or gross neglect.

-- Intentional abuse and torture.

-- Organized abuse, such as cockfighting and dogfighting.

-- Animal sexual abuse.

It will take some time for the FBI to update manuals and databases and create the new guidelines. This is one reason why the crimes won't be tracked until 2016.

Because these charges involving animal cruelty will now be classified as more serious crimes, the penalties will also be more severe. Those in Maryland and other states will need to ensure that they present a strong defense against such charges in order to work towards a positive outcome in their cases.

The media is often quickly involved in animal cruelty cases, and that can cause a bias in a potential jury pool. An experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney knows how to limit the damage that the media can do. He or she also knows that everyone in the U.S. who is charged with a crime presumed innocent until the prosecution can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: Wisconsin Gazette, "FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony" Sue Manning, The Associated Press, Oct. 07, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

How Can We Help?Schedule your free consultation today!

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Clinton Office Building Dunkirk Office Building

Clinton Office
8808 Old Branch Avenue
P.O. Box 219
Clinton, MD 20735

Phone: 301-856-3030
Fax: 301-856-4029
Clinton Law Office Map

Dunkirk Office
2981 Penwick Lane
Dunkirk, MD 20754

Phone: 301-855-3100
Fax: 301-855-8251
Dunkirk Law Office Map