This month, a new law would ban anyone convicted of an animal cruelty offense from owning new animals for at least five years after their initial offense was enacted.
Thus, this is a good time to discuss animal cruelty charges in Houston and how they could affect your life.
Texas Animal Cruelty Laws
You’ll find Texas animal cruelty laws in Chapter 42 of the Texas Penal Code, which bars Texans from torturing either livestock or non-livestock animals.
Listed acts of cruelty include:
- Torturing an animal
- Failing to provide necessary food, water, or care
- Abandoning an animal
- Transporting or confining an animal in a cruel and unusual manner
- Poisoning an animal
- Forcing animals to fight
- Using a live animal as a lure in a dog race
- Overworking an animal
- Tripping a horse
- Leaving an animal in a hot car
Torturing an animal, poisoning an animal, forcing animals to fight, and using a live animal as a lure in a dog race are all felony offenses. Other acts of cruelty to animals are prosecuted as misdemeanor offenses.
While a person who is convicted of animal cruelty and has served their sentence may still live in a home with an animal, they may not own one. If they are found to own an animal during those five years, they may be charged with an additional misdemeanor crime.
While animal cruelty cases are rare, those convicted have a tendency to be repeat offenders.
Get Help Today
Texas has a growing interest in protecting the lives of household pets and livestock animals alike. While we do not condone cruelty to animals, we recognize that misunderstandings and false accusations sometimes lead to unjust criminal charges. The news has been telling people to look out for signs of animal cruelty, an act that can always lead to overzealous reporting.
In addition, it is our job to defend the guilty and the innocent alike to the best of our ability. We’re here to protect your rights. We’re not here to judge you.
Contact our office to schedule a case evaluation if you’ve been charged with an animal cruelty crime. We’ve helped many Texans navigate criminal charges and are ready to help you, too.
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