On behalf of The Law Office of Gustavo E. Frances, P.A.
Everyone has different interests and hobbies. Most hobbies are harmless, but in some situations things can get out of control and cross into criminal activity. Recently, two woman — a mother and her daughter — have been arrested near Miami. According to police, the women had 81 dogs on their property. Police allege that the dogs were living in a U-Haul truck on their property in cramped dirty conditions. It is unclear if the dog were pets or if they were being used for breading purposes.
The women have been charged with more than 100 misdemeanor charges for animal cruelty. They could now face serious consequences.
While misdemeanors are generally less serious charges then felonies, they can still have significant criminal penalties. People, like the women in this case, can be sent to jail for up to a year on each count and face large fines. The penalties can also have a significant impact on a person’s reputation in the community and can result in negative consequences at work.
Like felonies, misdemeanor charges can be varied. They can include such offense as shoplifting, driving without a license, some assaults, other petty theft and driving infractions. Depending on the specific charges in each case, people will want to defend against misdemeanor charges in different ways.
In every situation, however, Florida residents should know that they have rights when charged with a misdemeanor. People should not ignore those rights just because they aren’t charged with a felony. People should know that they have the right to have an attorney present at any police questioning and the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. Furthermore, the burden of proof is still on the prosecutors even if a person is charged with a misdemeanor.
WSVN, “2 charged with animal cruelty,” Sept. 19, 2013