If You are charged with Animal Abuse, Call Schmierlaw for a No-cost initial consultation
Schmierlaw will Provide Experienced, Affordable and Aggressive Animal Abuse Defense

Defending against an animal cruelty charge requires an experienced attorney who understands what you are facing. If convicted you could spend several years in prison, forfeiture of your right to possess an animal, owe thousands to the local humane society, and have a felony on your record. Unfortunately, when there are animals involved, regardless of the actual facts, the accused is considered guilty even before a trial or hearing. Schmierlaw is an experienced animal abuse defense attorney who has defended many individuals accused of animal abuse. If you are facing animal abuse charges, contact Schmier law.

Michigan’s animal cruelty law provides that:

"An owner, possessor, or person having custody of an animal shall not do the following"

• Fail to provide an animal with adequate care.
• Cruelly drive, work, or beat an animal,
• Carry in a vehicle any animal having its legs tied together
• Carry a animal in a vehicle without providing a secure space.
• Abandon an animal without providing adequate care
• Allow any animal to suffer unnecessary neglect, torture, or pain
• Tether a dog unless the tether is 3 times the length of the dog
• Leave an animal in a car without proper ventilation

The Prosecutor, Court, and Public Opinion WIll Be Against You. Your Attorney Needs to be able to Tell Your Story.

Depending on the number of animals involved, violation of any of these provisions can subject a person to either a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail or, if more than ten animals are involved, up to four (4) years in prison. And if there is more than one count (multiple animals), punishment can be consecutive.
If you are charged with animal cruelty, you need an Attorney who understands the law, who has experience with animal cruelty cases, and who can work on your behalf to lessen the impact of any animal cruelty charges that you may face. Contact Schmerlaw for a no-cost initial consultation. We have experience representing individuals charged with animal cruelty, hoarding, or other matters related to animals.

If Convicted of Animal Cruelty

If you are convicted of animal cruelty you could face severe penalties. There could time in jail, huge fines, and veterinary and boarding costs if your animals are seized. In addition, any jail time could be served consecutively to jail time for any other offense that occurs at the same time. So if the police had a warrant to search your house for suspected animal abuse and they found some cocaine, you could serve time for the cocaine and after that is completed, start serving the sentence for the animal cruelty.

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If one animal is involved, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by Imprisonment for not more than 93 days, s fine of not more than $1,000.00, Community service for not more than 200 hours.
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If the violation involves 2 or 3 animals or the death of any animal, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by Imprisonment for not more than 1 year, A fine of not more than $2,000.00, Community service for not more than 300 hours.
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If the violation involved 10 but fewer than 25 animals or the person had 2 prior convictions, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by Imprisonment for not more than 4 years, A fine of not more than $5,000.00, Community service for not more than 500 hours.
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If the violation involved 25 or more animals or the person has had 3 or more prior convictions , the person is guilty of a felony punishable by Imprisonment for not more than 7 years, A fine of not more than $10,000.00, Community service for not more than 500 hours.

Other Things You WIll Do

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The court may order a person be evaluated to determine the need for psychiatric or psychological counseling and, ordered to receive psychiatric at the defendant's own expense.
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As a part of the sentence the court may order the defendant to pay the costs of the care, housing, and veterinary medical care for the animal or animals.
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As a part of the sentence, the court may order the defendant not to own or possess an animal for a period of time including permanent relinquishment of animal ownership.

Animal Hoarding and Abuse Cases

Often times animal cruelty charges arise, not because of actual abuse but when animals are subjected to abusive conditions. Schmierlaw has handled several high-profile cases where clients have been charged with felony animal abuse, a four-year felony.
While many may think of animal abuse cases such as that of Michael Vick, who was breeding and training dogs to fight or other cases involving puppy mills, most are individuals who honestly believe they are doing the right thing and love the animals they are accused of abusing. In these cases, there may be no criminal intent, but the authorities often times, still charge these individuals with felonies exposing them to possible jail time and criminal records.
Schmierlaw we will look at all the facts, if needed we will seek counseling and/ or other experts for our clients, work and with the Prosecutor and Judge to make sure a similar incident does not happen again. We are committed to making sure our clients don’t go to jail, but instead, get the help they need to understand the nature of their actions.

Ken
Our office represented Ken, an obsessive-compulsive hoarder, who besides hoarding everything from old TV’s to obsolete computer systems, also collected 109 living Chihuahuas and 150 dead ones stored in a freezer in the basement. This was one of the largest animal hoarding cases ever happen in Michigan and gained international notoriety. In talking to Ken, we learned that Ken did not fully understand what he had done and felt he was doing his best to take care the dogs. Ken received probation, was ordered not possess other animals, and received counseling to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Patricia
Recently we represented Patricia. Patricia is a gentle woman who had a reputation for taking in dogs and cats whose owners were going to take them to the animal shelter, where, unless adopted, would probably be put to “sleep”. Believing she was able to do a better job, Patricia ended up with 35 dogs, a dozen or so cats, and several rabbits. Unfortunately, the situation got out of control, Patricia was unable to properly care for these animals and the conditions in which she and the animals lived became a health hazard. Charged with felony animal cruelty, the home was destroyed, and Patricia faced several years in prison. Obviously, no one wants a situation like this to happen again, and our goal was to get Patricia the help she needed to make sure it didn’t happen again.

If you are facing animal cruelty charges or are in a position where you could face these charges, call Schmierlaw for a no-cost consultation to discuss your animal cruelty case.


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Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC
2222 Attard Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Tel: (248) 705-3742     FAX: (248) 540-0044    Email: jschmier@schmierlaw.com