Arizona is especially known for its extreme heat. Serious injury or death can occur if an animal is left in a vehicle alone. Most people are surprised to hear that an animal does not need to be actually physically injured for criminal charges to arise. Leaving an animal in a confined vehicle, unattended, can lead to charges of Cruelty to Animals.
A person can commit the offense of cruelty to animals in many ways. However, the law explicitly includes if a person “Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly leaves an animal unattended and confined in a motor vehicle and physical injury to or death of the animal is likely to result.” This means that no actual ham need occur to the animal for you to be charged with this crime. It only need be likely that injury or death may occur to the animal. This also means that you can be charged with animal cruelty for accidently leaving you animal in unattended in your vehicle if physical injury or death is likely to occur as a result.
The law allows animal control or other safety officers to use force to rescue an animal from a confined vehicle if the officer makes a determination that the animal is in danger of physical injury or death.
A person who is charged with cruelty of animals for leaving an animal unattended and confined in a vehicle is charged with a Class 1 Misdemeanor punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
If you find yourself charged with cruelty to animals, you could face substantial penalties and have a criminal record stain your reputation. If you are facing animal cruelty charges, it is important to retain professional and experienced defense counsel as soon as possible. Contact AZ Defenders right away to schedule a free consultation and discuss your options and defense.