Speak with an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer: (775) 574-4774
Under Nevada law, animal cruelty is a criminal offense. While the nature
of the allegations and the facts of a case may vary, individuals charged
with this crime can face severe and life-altering penalties if convicted,
including potential terms of imprisonment. Because animal cruelty charges
can put your freedom and future on the line, working with experienced
attorneys is critical to protecting your rights in the criminal justice system.
At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno criminal defense lawyers draw from decades
of combined experience to fight on behalf of local residents charged with
a range of misdemeanor and felony crimes, including charges involving
animal cruelty. By placing your trust in our proven defense team, you
can receive the support and guidance you need to navigate the process
ahead, and the aggressive representation to pursue the most positive outcome possible.
Discuss your criminal charges, potential penalties, and how Joey Gilbert
Law can fight for you by calling (775) 574-4774 or contacting us online for a FREE and confidential consultation.
Animal Cruelty Charges in Nevada
Animal cruelty charges in Nevada encompass a wide range of prohibited conduct
involving animals – from neglect and mistreatment to willful and
intentional abuse. While animal cruelty laws do not typically apply to
accidental animal injuries or deaths arising from the normal operation
of ranching, rodeos, or livestock shows, they do cover a broad range of
unlawful conduct, including:
Animal abuse, including unjustifiable torturing, maiming, mutilating or
killing of any cat, dog, or domesticated animal kept for companionship
Neglect, including depriving animals of necessary food and drink, or sufficient
air and shelter
Contributing to, instigating, or allowing an animal to be abused or neglected
Poisoning another’s animal
Overdriving, torturing, overloading, beating, or unjustifiably injuring
or killing any animal
Animal Cruelty Penalties
Penalties for animal cruelty vary depending on the facts and circumstances
involved, including the type of animal involved and a defendant’s
prior criminal history involving similar incidents, as well as whether
charges are prosecuted as
misdemeanors or felonies. Examples of penalties may include:
Misdemeanors – A first-time offense for animal cruelty is typically prosecuted
as a misdemeanor, and is punishable by fined up to $1,000, court-ordered
community service, and between 2 days to 6 months in jail. A second offense
may also be charged as a misdemeanor. However, penalties are elevated
to between 10 days and 6 months in jail, more hours of community service,
and court-ordered restitution. Nevada also makes is a misdemeanor to abandon
animals, aside from the release of feral cats after neutering or vaccination.
Repeat offenses – Individuals who have been convicted of two or more animal cruelty
charges within a seven-year period can be prosecuted with a Category C
felony. As a felony, animal cruelty carries penalties that include up
to $10,000 in fines, restitution, and between 1 to 5 years in prison.
Animal cruelty involving pets / intent – When animal cruelty allegations involve cats, dogs, and other
pets, or are committed intentionally or with an intent to intimate or
terrorize others, prosecutors may choose to file felony charges. For example,
animal cruelty intended to threaten or intimidate another is a Category
C felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and between 1 to 5 years
in prison. Animal cruelty committed maliciously and willfully is a Category
D felony that carries up to $5,000 in fines and between 1 to 4 years in prison.
Related crimes – Nevada has additional criminal laws involving animals. This includes
participating in organized animal fighting, which is a felony offense
that carries between $5,000 to $10,000 in fines and between 1 to 4 or
5 years in prison, depending on the level of involvement. Spectators at
illegal animal fights can also face misdemeanor charges for a first offense,
and felony charges for a subsequent offense. Other crimes may include
unlawful gaming (i.e. dog races), leaving pets in hot cars, mistreating
a police animal or show dog, and other crimes involving livestock.
Protecting Your Rights & Future
Nevada law makes it clear that individuals who abuse or mistreat animals
can face harsh and life-altering penalties, especially when crimes are
committed willfully, involve pets, or when defendants have a criminal
history involving similar charges. Because the nature of the allegations
and the type of animal involved play a significant role in the charges
and penalties prosecutors choose to allege, it becomes important for anyone
facing such allegations to work with experienced defense attorneys like
those at Joey Gilbert Law who take the time to investigate claims and
structure tailored defense strategies. This may include arguments as to
accidental or natural occurring injuries resulting from the care of animals,
killing of animals for good, permitted activities under fish and game
wildlife laws, and other defense.
Call to Request a FREE Case Evaluation
Animal cruelty charges are not to be taken lightly. Because these allegations
place a lot on the line, our Reno animal cruelty lawyers at Joey Gilbert
Law encourage anyone facing charges to seek our immediate assistance as
soon as possible. Our criminal defense lawyers have a reputation for providing
personalized and aggressive representation, and are available 24/7 to
review your case free of charge.
Contact us today to request your FREE and confidential consultation.