Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer
About Dog Fighting Charges
Dog fighting is a cruel "sport" in which trained and aggressive
dogs are placed in an arena to fight each other primarily for gambling
and entertainment purposes. Dog fighting is a crime in the United States
and is prosecuted as a felony in state courts as well as federal courts.
California has one of the toughest dog fighting laws in place. California
Penal Code section 597.5 makes it a crime to:
- Own, possess, keep, or train any dog, with the intent that the dog engage
in an exhibition of dog fighting;
- Causes any dog to fight another dog or cause any dog to injure each other;
- Attend a dog fighting exhibition.
Any person who does any of the above two bullet points (owning, possessing,
keeping, or training a dog to fight or causes any dog to fight or injure
another dog) is guilty of a felony and is subject to 16 months to 3 years
in state prison along with a fine of up to $50,000. A spectator of a dog
fighting event is facing a misdemeanor that carries a county jail sentence
of up to one year and a fine of up to $5,000 dollars.
There are defenses available in dog fighting cases used by criminal defense
attorneys such as:
- Proof of Ownership – California prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable
doubt that that the defendant owned, possessed, and trained dogs specifically
for dog fighting exhibitions. This may difficult to prove since the majority
of dogs are unlicensed in this type of activity. Prosecutors must also
prove that the organizer utilized a property under his or her control
to harbor dog fighting events, or to aid the harboring of dog fighting events.
Criminal Intent - This is a point of attack for a
criminal defense attorney. Prosecutors must prove a spectator of a dog fight was aware
and knowingly participated as a spectator. If a spectator accidentally
witnessed or accidentally encountered the dog fight, that would present
a problem for prosecutors.
If you or someone you know is facing dog fighting charges in Los Angeles,
it is critical that you contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney
immediately. Taking a proactive approach after an arrest can mean the
difference between no charges being filed and facing a felony or a misdemeanor charge.
Defending Dog Fighting Charges
At Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners we have the knowledge and experience
to defend against dog fighting charges. As knowledgeable and aggressive
negotiators and criminal defense attorneys, we are ready to pursue all
avenues in having your charges substantially reduced or dismissed. An
attorney at the firm is ready to discuss your case and help you put together
the best legal plan for your particular circumstances.
Contact us for a
no-cost initial consultation. Put our 70 years of legal experience to work for you and fight for your
rights, reputation and your freedom.