Animal Cruelty

Animal Cruelty Charges in Columbia, South Carolina

In South Carolina, being charged in a criminal matter is a serious event. Hiring a professional attorney is an important first step in the criminal defense process.

Wooden GavelThe Strom Law Firm has been working on behalf of people’s’ rights for over two decades. Founded by Joseph “Pete” Strom, a former U.S. Attorney, Strom Law Firm has extensive knowledge of the criminal justice system and leverages its experience and knowledge for the benefit of its clients. As soon as the Strom Law Firm is brought onto a case, we begin zealously defending the rights of our clients and compiling a defense.
The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm are familiar with various jails and detention centers.

There are various detention centers and police stations where an alleged offender may be held after being arrested.. Some of these venues include the Greenville County Detention Center, the Charleston County Detention Center, the Lexington County Detention Center, and the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Our attorneys have experience with nearly every venue in SC and are willing to travel to defend your rights.

Law enforcement agencies who arrest for criminal charges may come from any one of various agencies.

There are several law enforcement agencies in South Carolina who can arrest for criminal charges. Depending on the arresting agency, a case may be heard by the Central Court, City Court, or a Magistrate Court.

Contacting a professional attorney is an important step to take immediately after arrest. Contacting the Strom Law Firm immediately may help you successfully navigate pretrial sanctions and alleviate potential damages before a trial takes place.

Defending Cruelty to Animals or Animal Fighting and Baiting Criminal Charges in Columbia, South Carolina

Animal fighting is the act of training animals to fight, usually to the death, for the purposes of entertainment. Frequently, this activity is linked to illegal money-making and gambling.  Several “animal cruelty” laws are designed to protect domesticated pets, stray animals, wild animals and farmed animals.

Until the 19th century, blood sports like bull baiting, bear baying, and cock fighting were common. In the middle of the 19th century, reform movements, which started in England, lobbied for animal welfare laws. These laws dictated animals were entitled to a certain level of care and treatment, and animal cruelty slowly became illegal in most developed countries.

Animal Cruelty Charges in South Carolina

According to South Carolina law Section 47-1-40, cruelty to animals can be defined as maliciously and intentionally maiming, wounding, torturing, mutilating a living animal, or maliciously and intentionally killing an animal.

Intentional and Negligent Mistreatment of Animals

There are two basic types of animal cruelty, the intentional mistreatment of animals and the negligent mistreatment of animals.

Intentionally inflicted cruelty to animals is generally considered violent and deliberate animal abuse, for example:

Negligent cruelty to animals is failing to provide adequate care, for example:

  • Failing to treat a pet’s wounds or illness
  • Failing to provide water or food
  • Failing to providing sanitary living conditions
  • Failing to provide adequate shelter

Penalties for Cruelty to Animals in South Carolina

Depending on whether your action or inaction was negligent or malicious in nature, you could be found guilty of a felony or a misdemeanor.

  • Felony: Jail sentence minimum of 188 days and a max of 5 years, and $5,000 fine.
  • Misdemeanor (first offense): Jail sentence max 90 days, or a fine of minimum $100 or maximum $1,000, or both.
  • Misdemeanor (second and subsequent offense): Jail sentence max 2 years, or a fine of $2,000, or both.

Animal Fighting and Baiting Charges in South Carolina

Dog fighting is now illegal in all 50 states. The federal government also prohibits dog fighting, when the illegal activity occurs over state lines.  While dog fighting is often covered under laws against animal cruelty, it has garnered more attention due to its violent and brutal nature.

Animal cruelty is the most apparent negative aspect of dog fighting, but it is also linked to organized crime and other illegal activities.

According to South Carolina law Section 16-27-30, animal fighting and baiting is defined as any person who: owns an animal for the purpose of fighting or baiting, participates or causes any fighting or baiting of an animal, obtains by any means any structure to be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal, allowing or permitting access to any structure with knowledge that it would be used for the purpose of fighting or baiting any animal.

Penalties for Animal Fighting and Baiting

A person convicted of animal fighting or baiting is guilty of a felony and upon conviction is fined $5,000, or faces a 5 year jail sentence, or both.

You can be charged with animal fighting and baiting if it occurred on your property or if you were even in attendance, even if you had no direct involvement. Dog fighting and other forms of animal fighting can sometimes be pursued in federal court.  The consequences of dog fighting as a federal crime are typically much more severe than a South Carolina charge for the same crime. Give us a call today for a free consultation. 803.252.4800

Call Today for a Free Case Consultation

Juries can be sensitive and react emotionally when presented evidence of harm to animals, especially domestic animals like dogs or cats. South Carolina judges have not hesitated in sentencing defendants to state prison for the abuse of animals—these cases are taken very seriously.  If you aren’t sure exactly what type of defense will best suit your case, call the Strom Law Firm, LLC to discuss your case.

Richland County in Columbia, South Carolina

Skyline Downtown ColumbiaRichland County, one of the largest counties in South Carolina, is home to county seat and state capital Columbia. Richland County is home to numerous important landmarks including the Fort Jackson Army Base and the Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Fort Jackson Army Base, the largest U.S. Army installation for Basic Combat Training, is an essential facet of the Columbia community. Fort Jackson is responsible for training half of Army soldiers annually, including over 60% of our women soldiers. Used primarily as a training facility, Fort Jackson is home over over 12,000 military families and is a large part of the Columbia community.

The University of South Carolina, the state flagship university of South Carolina, is the proud home of the Gamecocks. Over 32,000 students are educated each year at the Columbia campus. Columbia, ranked the #3 college town in the U.S., partners with the university, which is responsible for crucial economic growth and development in the city.

Columbia is also home to various natural landmarks. Multiple rivers, including the Congaree River, Little River, and Wateree River each run through Columbia, which is also home to Lake Murray. Boating, sailing, biking, and swimming are all popular attractions at these natural locations and provide entertainment and attractions for local residents and visitors.

Nightlife is an active part of the Columbia social scene. These downtown areas provide several options for anyone interested in dining, shopping, and more. Main Street, once a popular area downtown, is undergoing a rejuvenation and is home to many popular events, including the weekly Soda City Market. Competing districts Five Points and The Vista offer different attractions to different crowds, including the university students and young urban professionals. Columbia hosts many activities and is an active place to live.

In Richland County, most DUI arrests are made by South Carolina Highway Patrol, although arrests may be made by any law enforcement agency. After arrest, charges may be heard by any of a variety of courts, including Central Magistrate, or City. After arrest, alleged offenders may be taken to a police station or to the Alvin S. Glenn detention center. After a short period of time in detention, a bond hearing will be set. Contacting an attorney from the very beginning of your case only helps that attorney defend your rights, including at the bond hearing.

Our attorneys frequently have significant experience in The City of Columbia City Court, located at 811 Washington St., Columbia, SC 29201, and Central Court, located at 1701 Main St., Columbia, SC 29201. Our attorneys also frequently visit the Alvin S. Glenn detention center, located at 201 John Mark Dial Dr., Columbia, SC 29209.

Interstates and Freeways comprise many of the roads into and out from Columbia. I-20, I-26, and I-77 each run through Richland County, and two other major interstates (I-85 and I-95) run nearby through other counties in South Carolina. The major cities and towns of South Carolina are covered by this interstate and highway system, which also runs through many smaller towns and communities.

Contact the Strom Law Firm immediately after you are arrested.

BestLawyers.comAVBetter Business Bureau